January 26, 2015
by Elizabeth

Palomacy Loves My Mutt Poster Program!

Donate $250 to Palomacy and Pet Food Express’ My Mutt Program will send a pro to photograph your pet and display the poster!

Super Dovee My Mutt Adopted 100409

Pet Food Express, with 54 stores located throughout California, is one of the country’s leading independent pet food and supply retailers. As part of their commitment to animal welfare, they have helped find homes for over 61,000 homeless animals and work closely with numerous shelters and pet rescue organizations. We love them for all kinds of reasons and one is their My Mutt Poster Program! When $250 is donated to Palomacy, Pet Food Express will send a professional pet photographer to your home to shoot a My Mutt poster that will then be displayed in their stores!

This is a great opportunity to show off pigeons and doves as pets and a total win-win-win! (Pet Food Express does this free for us because people have donated to support our birds- there is no cost to us!)


My Mutt GuruminaY1_RR_40x60

And here are the amazing photos that I have to choose from for a new My Mutt Poster for Dylan… Which would you choose? (Click on the image to enlarge.)

And here are Lily’s best photos… which would make the best poster? Please help me decide! Add a comment below with your choices.

To learn more about Pet Food Express’ My Mutt Poster Program, click here and to donate to Palomacy, click here.

Thank you!


January 17, 2015
by Elizabeth

Palomacy at the Bay Area Pet Expo San Jose, CA

A big part of the work we do is outreach. People don’t know that birds are in shelters needing homes, people don’t know that domestic pigeons and doves can’t live wild and need homes, people don’t know what amazing pets these birds are… and so this Saturday a whole bunch of us, volunteers and birds, staffed our booth at the Bay Area Pet Expo in San Jose. Thousands of pet lovers attend this huge, free and fun event and we introduced pigeons to as many as we could. We answered lots of questions, debunked lots of myths and made a lot of new friends for these amazing but often-mistreated birds. Palomacy- it’s pigeon diplomacy!

Thank you to our amazing volunteers!

Thank you to our amazing volunteers!

Left to right: Faye & Shimmy, Elton & Sparkle, Jill & Aurora, Tyler & Opal, Ashish & Valiant, Liese & Pat, Adina & Gemini, Clare, Lisa.


December 22, 2014
by Elizabeth

“Domestic Pigeon in Need of Medical Care” (Aries)

Aries at SFACC 120914

Aries at SFACC 12/9/14

We were contacted by SFACC shelter staff on December 9th about a “domestic pigeon in need of medical care”. The notes went on to say, “SURRENDERED DUE TO THE FLOCK BEATING UP ON HER. BIRD IS BANDED AND WAS BRED TO BE A RACING PIGEON BUT IS JUST A PET DUE TO HER DEFORMITY. SHE DRAGS HERSELF ON THE FLOOR OF THE COOP. BIRD IS NOT EATING ON ITS OWN.”

The young pigeon, whom we have since named Aries, had suffered a broken ankle. Without treatment, it had become infected, healed improperly and made it impossible for her to walk. One of our foster volunteers, Xavier, rushed to pick her up. She was filthy, emaciated and weak. (The fact that an injured racing pigeon was surrendered to the shelter by her owner rather than killed is atypical. We are grateful for the compassion she was shone.)


Infected, swollen, mishealed broken ankle

Aries emaciated 120914

Emaciated but safe now in loving hands

Aries loves scritches

Aries loves scritches

Dr. Kane examines Aries 121314

Dr. Kane examining Aries

In the two weeks since her intake, thanks to the loving care of her fosters and help from the vets, Aries has made remarkable progress. She’s eating on her own (ravenously), gaining weight and strength, her infection has been knocked out and her pain is under control. Now, instead of being neglected and picked on, she’s getting lots of love and support and she’s soaking it up.

She still can’t walk though and on December 20th she was hospitalized at Medical Center for Birds in preparation for the surgical breaking and resetting of her mishealed ankle.

Aries will have her procedure this afternoon, December 22nd, and will wake up with a newly-broken ankle that is positioned properly and hopefully, with time and care, will heal functionally. (For a similar story, see rescued racer Aurora.)

Please, if you can, make a donation to support the work we do.

Thank you for helping us to help Aries!

Thank you for helping us to help Aries!

December 23, 2014 Update:

Aries’ ankle has been rebroken, repositioned and is supported in a special pigeon-friendly cast. She tolerated the anesthesia and procedure well and is doing great! Here are photos taken yesterday during…

20141222_123600 20141222_124431 20141222_124603 20141222_125838 20141222_130533 20141222_130952

She’s eating heartily, preening and is already able, with a little help from hobbles and a shoe, to use her legs (rather than her wings) to stand and to walk! Tomorrow, volunteers will pick her up and take back to her foster home to continue her recovery. Here she is today. Thank you so very much for helping us to help this sweet bird!


December 21, 2014
by Elizabeth

Little Bell’s Big Problem


Bell has torticollis

Bell is a little dove with a big problem. She has torticollis, a neurological movement disorder characterized by a twisted neck and tilted head. (There are many potential causes of torticollis including brain trauma, poisoning, spinal damage, vitamin deficiency, viruses, bacterial infection, tumors, etc.) Bell’s is so profound that the disorientation triggers somersaulting panic attacks which leave her bruised, sore and exhausted and, if uncontrolled, could lead to fatal injury.

Initially we thought she was having seizures but our avian vet helped rule that out. So far, the way we’ve been able to most reliably stop the panic attacks is by keeping a light blanket tented right over her. The super low ‘ceiling’ seems to help by providing enough orientation to stave off the panic.


Her tent keeps the panic attacks away


Exhausted but relieved to have hours fit-free


Bell’s therapeutic set up

When she’s not having fits, she’s self-feeding, preening and responsive to her mate Reed & the people caring for her. (Right now she’s snuggled in one hand while I type this with the other.) Despite her condition, Bell hasn’t given up. Some have suggested we euthanize Bell. If we reach a place where we are unable to offer any hope or relief to her, the mercy of euthanasia will always be available. We don’t need to start there.


Reed keeping Bell company


Reed & Bell

Bell helping me write

Bell helping me write

We only know the back story of Bell & Reed (formerly called Mocha & Latte) in bits and pieces. We know they were originally surrendered to San Francisco Animal Care & Control as part of a flock of 13 pet doves in August, 2012. Their person, Carol, hospitalized in the end stages of ALS, could no longer care for them. We were too full to take them in but we helped the shelter to care for and publicize them. My pet dove Lily and I visited Carol in the hospital to reassure her that we were watching out for them. She returned the kindness by promoting our rescue on her hospital door. She died on September 28th, 2012.


Originally surrendered in 2012


Waiting for adopters


Lily visiting Carol


Carol promoted MickaCoo in the hospital

Some of Carol’s doves were adopted by Kelly (a generous supporter of our work) and they are doing very well and making lots of friends at her store Leftovers.


Kelly adopted four doves


Dove Love

We don’t know about the others except that on December 13th, “Mocha & Latte”, two of the thirteen doves that had been adopted, were returned to the shelter. Their person said he thought one of them, “had brain damage from something the house cleaner sprayed”.


At SFACC 12/13/14


Surrendered again

The following day we were contacted by shelter vet Dr. Anderson seeking rescue for the pair. The twist-headed dove was suffering from severe torticollis and doing backflips with what appeared to be seizures.

We were fortunate to be able to arrange a special foster home for the pair who we renamed Bell & Reed. After two visits to our vets at Medical Center for Birds and lots of trial, error and consideration, we are finding ways to help Bell through her ordeal. She’s on anti-inflammatory pain meds and a broad-spectrum antibiotic and we hope that with time, support, her tent blanket and relief from the terrible fits, she may recover.


Dr. Olsen and Bell


Bell’s sock snuggie worked briefly

Bell relaxes in foster mom Carole's loving hands

Bell relaxes in foster mom’s loving hands

Neurological issues are very slow to heal but, with us, Bell will have all the time she needs. Please make a tax-deductible donation in support of the work we do. Thank you!




December 8, 2014
by Elizabeth

MickaCoo (Hatches Palomacy) at Mickaboo Holiday Party 2014

MickaCoo joined with Mickaboo to celebrate at this year’s Holiday Party! We had a wonderful time thanks to Mickaboo’s great event, incredible support from our very hard working volunteers, priceless donated treasures and the amazing company of so many wonderful friends- new and old! Super special thanks to Mickaboo’s Pam Lee for producing the event, to Christiana for leading MickaCoo’s participation, to Jane, Mia, Cole and Josette for donating and volunteering and to Vinny for sharing his photographs. Palomacy is honored to continue what MickaCoo started. We are looking forward to an exciting new year. We wish you all a joyous holiday season.


December 6, 2014
by Elizabeth
1 Comment

MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue Announces Our New Name

Dear Partners, Friends and Supporters,

I am pleased to announce the newest chapter in MickaCoo’s continuing development.  As many of you know, our little rescue organization began under the wing of Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue, who generously shared their wealth of experience with us, providing database services, allowing us to operate under their nonprofit designation, and much more.  We will be forever grateful for this support and will always think of Mickaboo as our big sister parrot rescue.

When we “fledged” and joined up with Community Initiatives as our fiscal sponsor, we maintained the MickaCoo name in recognition of the fact that we had begun to establish a strong identity in the communities we serve.  We have operated as MickaCoo Pigeon and Dove Rescue for seven years now, and feel we are ready to choose a name that defines our focus and describes the work that we do.

Effective January 1st, 2015, MickaCoo Pigeon and Dove Rescue will become Palomacy Pigeon and Dove Adoptions.  We are beginning our transition immediately and expect that it will take a couple of months before we can fully retire the MickaCoo name.  Our mission remains the same-

We save homeless domestic pigeons and doves in the San Francisco Bay Area from being killed. We provide guidance, referrals, education, foster care, avian vet treatment and adoption services. Thanks to the support of our many volunteers, donors and partners, we have saved the lives of more than 600 birds since we began in 2007 and helped countless others.

We will be rebranding our outreach materials and renaming our social media sites (details to follow). Our website address remains www.PigeonRescue.org

Please visit What Is Palomacy? for more information and view our special video announcing the change here.

Thank you in advance for your support as we complete this transition and continue to grow.

Kindest Regards,
Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 1.16.29 PM
Clare Malone Prichard, Advisory Committee Chair

Palomacy Logo Final

Our new logo generously created by Heather Hohlowski



December 6, 2014
by Elizabeth

What Is Palomacy?

Palomacy is pigeon diplomacy.

When we started doing this rescue work in 2007, it was because there was a strange and deadly gap in the animal welfare network. Shelters got in domestic (unreleasable) pigeons every week but, instead of providing them with the care and service that all the other shelter animals received, they were for the most part ignored until they were euthanized. Even in the best shelters, even in the ultra animal-friendly San Francisco Bay Area.



Pigeons in shelters need homes too

If they had any injury or illness, no matter how minor, they were euthanized rather than given vet care.

While other animals were named and photographed and promoted on the adopt-a-pet websites, the pigeons were not. No one even knew they were in need of homes and not surprisingly, they didn’t get adopted.

And while all the other animals brought to the shelters- the dogs and cats, rabbits and parrots, rodents and reptiles, wildlife and farmed animals- had at least one rescue dedicated to trying to save them, the pigeons did not.


This gap is especially strange when you consider not only how closely connected humans and pigeons have been throughout our history but how common they are. Humans have been breeding and using pigeons, as meat and messengers, for sport, hobby and ceremony, for thousands of years. Pigeons were the first domesticated bird.


First century BCE Mosaic of Scene with Egyptian Columbarium for Breeding Pigeons, Photo from Biblical Archaeology Review

Right here in the Bay Area, there are lots of pigeon racing clubs, fanciers and hobbyists breeding thousands of domestic birds they fly the wild skies every year. But no one was rescuing the pigeons who predictably get lost or injured yet lucky enough to make it to a shelter.

And all of this is made even more surprising by how smart, gentle, charming and wonderful pigeons are as companions. They are easy to help! They don’t bite. They’re not destructive. They’re quiet and calm and make wonderful pets. They are domestic and unable to live in the wild.

When we started rescuing and rehoming these domestic pigeons and doves, we had to begin bridging this strange and fatal gap. We had to do something that wasn’t being done. We have a name for this work we do: We call it palomacy.


Susan Gilbert & her adopted pet Little Cloud making new friends for pigeons. Photo by Megan Wolfe

We believe that everyone deserves compassion, everyone deserves a chance. We advocate for pigeons and doves- all of them- wild, feral and domestic- every day of the year. We know that pigeons are a gateway to compassion. While most of the thousands of people we meet may never see another domestic pigeon, all will encounter the feral Rock Pigeons who are somehow able to live their gentle lives on our mean streets. We speak up for those birds, we debunk the myths, we inspire compassion. Pigeons don’t spread disease. Petting a dog or cat or eating meat are greater risks to your health than pigeons are. Those pigeons foraging for crumbs on our sidewalks are highly intelligent; they remember and recognize faces; they mate for life; they can fly 55 mph. They deserve compassion- as we all do.


Domestic Blanco & unreleasable feral Bean had an amazing romance

Palomacy is pigeon diplomacy. And while our name is changing from MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue to Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions, our mission stays the same. We save homeless domestic pigeons and doves in the San Francisco Bay Area from being killed. We provide guidance, referrals, education, foster care, avian vet treatment and adoption services. Thanks to the support of our many volunteers, donors and partners, we have saved the lives of more than 600 birds since we began in 2007 and helped countless others. 

To learn more about Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions, please visit our About page.

See the video announcing our new name.

Thank you for all of your support and compassion. We are looking forward to helping many more birds and the people who love them in the coming year.


Elizabeth Young, founder & director Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions



November 30, 2014
by Elizabeth

Art Auction to Benefit MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue

Artist Ashley Dietrich by James Gibbard 1114

Thanks to the talent and generosity of Tulsa artist, bird rescuer and MickaCoo supporter Ashley Dietrich, you can bring the exquisite beauty of these portraits into your home while also helping the birds they honor.

We are offering these signed originals on canvas for auction. All proceeds benefit MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue! (auction ends Saturday 12/6 at 8 PM PST).

To bid, use the “Leave a Reply” box below, tell us which painting your bid is for, your email address and your bid amount and click “Post Comment”. Check back often. Highest bid at 8 PM PST this Saturday, December 6th will win.


Jacob: 8×10 inches – retail $60 – minimum starting bid $30
8x10 Jacob by Ashley Dietrich

Jacob was 22 years old when he was rescued by MickaCoo. He is a Capuchin Pigeon and was a cherished member of his family’s flock. Heartbreakingly, due to health reasons, the birds all had to be rehomed. Jacob, blind and arthritic, was the last in need of rescue. Despite his frailties, he has adjusted very well to his foster home and is married to a big, beautiful, and much younger pigeon named Hester.


Aurora: 4×4 inches each –  retail $30 –  minimum starting bid $15
4x4 Aurora by Ashley Dietrich

Pigeon racing survivor Aurora suffered a catastrophic crash that left her with two broken legs. The family that found her caged and fed her but did not seek vet care and, when MickaCoo was contacted on July 4th, 2014, a volunteer dropped everything to rush to her rescue. Aurora was crippled and in pain, suffering from one leg that had healed facing backwards and infected pressure sores in the other. She needed extensive vet care including surgery to break and reset her mishealed leg. She has made an incredible recovery and inspires all that meet her. (Read more about Aurora’s story.)


Dylan: 4×4 inches each –  retail $30 – minimum starting bid $15
4x4 Dylan by Ashley Dietrich

Dylan, a King Pigeon bred to be meat (squab), was sold at the age of just three and a half weeks from a live poultry market and “released” to the streets of San Francisco. She was lucky to survive long enough to be taken to the shelter but, too young to self-feed, nearly starved before being taken into MickaCoo’s foster care. She has recovered and is an excellent ambassador. (Read more about Dylan’s story.)

Each is a signed original painted on canvas, varnished.  Sides are 3/4″ deep and finished in black, ready to hang frameless or display on a shelf.

About the Artist Ashley Dietrich

I hold BFAs in Studio Art and Art History, and painting is my passion as well as my livelihood. Birds are each unique individuals with their own personalities, and I am honored to be part of so many little lives. Capturing their gestures and the complexity of feathers is a fulfilling technical challenge, but I especially enjoy creating portraits and getting to know who I’m painting. I also work as a volunteer wild bird rehabilitator, specializing in doves and pigeons. Painting allows me to work with wild birds as well as spend time with my own little flock. I share my studio with my parrot Penelope.

My painting website is www.BirdsinHand.etsy.com
My art page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashley-Dietrich-Art/150390098346245

Ashley Dietrich with rescued pigeon by James Gibbard

Auction Rules:

  • Auction winner will be given payment instructions after the auction closes.
  • Payment is expected in three calendar days after the auction closes.
  • If payment is not received, the next highest bid will become the auction winner.
  • To bid, use the “Leave a Reply” box below, tell us which painting your bid is for, your email address and your bid amount and click “Post Comment”. Check back often.
  • Minimum bids are Jacob $30, Aurora $15, Dylan $15; each subsequent bid must be at least $2.00 higher than the prior one.
  • Auction closes on 8 pm PST on Saturday December 6th, 2014.

All proceeds benefit MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue!


November 27, 2014
by Elizabeth

Baby Athena Has Something to Say

Baby King Pigeon Athena was found as a stray on November 11th at Church & 18th streets in San Francisco. She was three and a half weeks old, too young to even self-feed, and as a domestic bird, completely unequipped to survive on her own. We know that she was bred and sold to be “squab”. We don’t know why she was dyed pink (though many we find are dyed). We don’t know why she was found helpless and alone on the edge of Dolores Park but most likely she was mistakenly “set free” by someone who thought she could survive in the park or used in a ceremony (to honor veterans?). She was very lucky to be found by a nice person rather than be killed by a dog, hawk, gull, raven, cat or raccoon. She was taken to San Francisco Animal Care & Control and they contacted us, MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue, to help her.

Together, we- all of us- the volunteers and supporters and partners of MickaCoo, saved this sweet baby. We made sure that she got the care she needed while in the shelter, we got her into a special foster home, we consulted on her care and transition from being tube-fed to self-feeding. Together, we saved baby Athena. This year, we’ve saved more than 200 lives – each as precious as Athena’s. Each of us plays a role in this rescue and whether your role is large or small, please know that it matters. YOU make a difference. And baby Athena has something to say: Thank you.

Foster volunteer Xavier reassures baby Athena

Foster volunteer Xavier reassures baby Athena

Xavier's pet Apollo & foster Athena relaxing after a bath

Xavier’s pet Apollo & foster Athena relaxing after a bath

Sleepy Athena

Sleepy Athena

Athena & Apollo sharing a snack

Athena & Apollo sharing a snack

Athena thanks you for saving her!

Athena thanks you for saving her!

Thank you very, very much for all that you do in support of MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue. We are grateful for your compassion and kindness. We are grateful for you.


November 21, 2014
by Elizabeth

Order Your 2015 Palomacy Calendars Here!

2015-Calendar-Promo- sold out

Our all new 2015 Wall Calendar – introducing Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions- is here. (See What Is Palomacy? for more info about our name change.)

It is our best ever! Each month features a special inspiring rescue story about one (or more) of our birds helped in 2014. While supplies last, you can order:

Wall Calendar ($20 for 1, $36 for 2, plus $3 shipping in the US) SOLD OUT!


Desk Calendar ($15 for 1, $26 for 2, plus $2 shipping in the US) SOLD OUT!

Desk Calendars SOLD OUT IMG_2461

To order yours, please email Elizabeth and include the quantity and your shipping address. We will be accepting payment via our donation system (half of the price benefits the birds!) and can accept credit cards, PayPal and checks (see link for details).

Thank you for your support. Thank you for your compassion. We look forward to helping a lot of birds and the people who love them in the coming year.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: