PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Residents in one South Philadelphia neighborhood are disturbed and concerned after finding pigeons shot with blow darts.
David Acosta of South Philadelphia says he saw the bird struggling to fly while it was hiding under a car, and when he got closer he could not believe what someone had done.
“We picked it up, we realized it was hurt,” he said. “It was stuck beneath the neck.”
Acosta took a picture of the top of the dart sticking out of the animal, and another after removing the dart.
He says he grew up taking care of birds with his grandfather. So he knew what to do when he saw the pigeons legs were not working and it was struggling to fly.
“Usually if you rub their heads they calm down,” he said.
He says he plans to bring the bird to a wildlife animal rehab center soon, but Acosta and other residents are worried because this is now the second pigeon found shot with a dart recently in their part of town.
“I mean this is someone who could escalate to shooting dogs or cats,” he said.
“We’ve seen a lot of cruelty lately with unusual animals,” said Nicole Wilson who directs humane law enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA.
She says unfortunately she regularly sees crimes against urban wildlife.
“Whenever there is a situation where animals are trying to adapt to their surrounding the animals are often subject to a level of cruelty,” she said.
Acosta says he just hopes people will see this pigeon, and think twice before harming any animal.
“That someone would choose to hurt it willfully and put it in so much distress yeah it’s pretty sad,” he added.
The SPCA hotline you can call if you see animal cruelty of any kind is 1-866-601-SPCA (7722).
By Henry Rosoff CBS 3