For the third time, a large group of pigeons has been found abandoned in the same rest area off Interstate 65.
Rest area attendant Edwin Hensley discovered the birds late Sunday night, as he had twice before, during his evening trash run. This time, however, the pigeons had been dumped directly into one dumpster, while the boxes in which they were transported were discarded in another. Of the 51 pigeons they found, five were already dead, possibly drowned in the several inches of sitting water in the receptacle.
“At least give him a citation," says wildlife rehabilitator Kim Hoover."Somebody has to be accountable, or it’s just going to keep happening.”
Hoover – who’s worked to find homes for the first two batches – called the White County Sheriff’s Department for help reaching Animal Control, but when she didn’t hear back, returned to the rest area to retrieve the birds herself Monday morning. Hoover says her purview is wild birds, not domestic ones, and that animal control should be in charge of rescuing and housing the abandoned pigeons instead of the wildlife centers who have now repeatedly volunteered to take them on.
“I have never heard of anything like this in my entire career," says White County Sheriff’s department Deputy Chief David Roth.
Roth says White County Animal Control has handled farming animals like horses and cows, but never pigeons. Roth also contends that since the pigeons were found at a state-run rest area along I-65, they’re ultimately the responsibility of the Indiana State Police. Still, he says the department plans to start investigating.
In total, nearly 200 pigeons have been abandoned at the rest stop since December.