The RSPCA is trying to trace the owners of a flock of fancy pigeons which were recently dumped in a car park in Washington.
Four of the birds – who appear to be trumpeter pigeons with distinctive feathered feet – are now in the care of a Sunderland-based rescue, after they were abandoned in a car park in Horsley Road on Sunday.
It is said that the birds were placed inside a cardboard microwave box which was taped up across the top, before being left. The pigeons were then discovered at 2.45pm the same day by passing members of the public.
All but one of the pigeons managed to get free, but four were caught by two members of the public who were able to pass them onto RSPCA Inspector Lucy Green. Two of the pigeons were seen flying off onto perches nearby, but there may have been eight birds in total.
The four pigeons that were rescued were uninjured, but were suffering from overgrown claws and some had faeces stuck to their feet. None of the pigeons were ringed, but they are not feral and are likely to have been kept as show animals, so the RSPCA would like to speak to their owners.
“We also want to catch the other pigeons that have got out of the box,” said Inspector Green.
She added: “A lady driving along the road spotted the box and she and another member of the public caught four of the birds, but there were around seven or eight of them seen initially.
“Four are now at Pawz For Thought in Sunderland, where they will stay to be rehomed unless an owner comes forward. Two of the birds escaped – one flew onto the top of a house nearby and the other into a tree, so food was left for them.”
English trumpeter pigeons are regarded as one of the most ornamental breeds of fancy pigeons. Their large feathered muffs on their feet often grow as large as flight feathers.