Sandy's Story about Pigeon Shoots
Animal Stories from

From Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK)
December 2010

And yet...I am not crushed, but coddled. Instead of vile laughter, gentle voices encourage me to hold on - to cling to life. They call us beautiful and carry as many of us as they can from this blood-soaked field.

It has been days since my capture and I have tasted no food or water since. I am parched and tired.

This morning I was thrown into a filthy crate along with a number of my brothers and sisters. We huddle together for warmth, for the freezing wind blasts through our feathers as we are sped down a highway. We arrive at a field that has nine blue boxes spread across the ground. I wonder what they are for?

Suddenly, I am seized by young yet uncharitable hands and forced into one of the blue wooden boxes. It is tight and I am pressed against all sides. But I sit and am quiet, for perhaps this is the worst of it.

Without warning the wood beneath me explodes upward and I am launched into the air. I am disoriented and confused but I flap my wings desperately for I am in the air...and then there is a sickening roar. Searing metal gunshot tears through my right wing and burning pain lashes through me! I flap my torn wing with all my strength to keep me aloft, yet I fall, a puff of feathers like white smoke trailing my descent.

I am shattered but alive. My legs can move, so I run to the brush, away from the booming death that dispatches one, two more of my kind, and cripples another who makes it no farther than a wingspan from the box he was thrown from. They come for him because he is easy to capture. The net is cast and those same young hands that put us in the nightmare box squeeze the life from him. I watch this horror from the thorn bushes and wait for them to come for me, but they do not.

Hours pass and I watch hundreds; thousands of my kin suffer, die and be torn apart as I was. Some escape, but their wounds promise only prolonged suffering. It seems it will never end, this cataclysm of unending gunfire and blood, the laughter and congratulations for having committed such utter cruelty. Finally, it does stop, and the killers leave. Now all that remains are we, the dead and the dying.

As the sun, ashamed of this day's murder, hides it face and steals below the horizon, I stumble out from cover. There is no food or water. There is nothing but the others suffering, for I am not alone. Dozens, perhaps hundreds more share my fate.

Some struggle, flapping broken wings that will never again ride the wind. Now those wings can only scrape across the frozen grass and brush.

Those who can move huddle together. Those who can't wait alone for the end. It is freezing and we all starve through the darkness of night.

There is no escape. No hope. That we are still alive is both a miracle and a curse. Death is not quite realized, but soon. For we who survive, death will come slowly, not as relief, but as a final torment.

The sun rises. Many have passed from our wounds during the night. Some, helpless, have been lost to predators, as the remains of scattered feathers and bloody wings tell. One who escaped the killing field fell upon the razor-sharp thorns, and was impaled. There is nowhere I can look and not see tragedy and horror.

My throat is dry and cracked from lack of water. My bloody wounds iced from the freezing cold. Our collective agony is unspeakable, constant and without relief.

Suddenly, they are back! Some of us run, but I cannot. If this is death, let it advance and remove me from this filthy world where killing is done for profit and pleasure. My eyes already dim. I have had enough.

And yet...I am not crushed, but coddled. Instead of vile laughter, gentle voices encourage me to hold on - to cling to life. They call us beautiful and carry as many of us as they can from this blood-soaked field.

Twenty-one of us are rescued. Though many of us did not survive over the next few days, they passed in warmth and love. That has meaning. It matters.

Today, seven of us remain. We huddle together, and breathe and eat. We are loved, which, considering the obscene violence done to us, is a miracle. The woman who cares for us coos and kisses us each day.

There is no fairy-tale ending to this story, for I am but a paragraph in this book of time, one day out of many, one life out of millions who have been sacrificed by unspeakably evil people. I can only give you a glimpse through my eyes, and pray you understand our plight. Just like you, we want to live.


Though part poetry, what you just read was not fiction. The specific incidents and the horrors are all too real. SHARK rescued those twenty-one birds and found one loving home for the seven survivors. They are a family, and the care they have for each other is as obvious as it is heartwarming.

As for the killing fields of Wing Pointe and any other pigeon shoot sites; we will go back when the slaughter begins anew. We will nonviolently confront and fight their butchery. We will fight the corruption that protects the killers, and ultimately will hold them accountable in courts of law, and in the court of public opinion. We are exposing their vile acts for the world to see.


These innocent and beautiful birds were all victims of a live pigeon shoot held on December 5, 2010, at the Wing Pointe (Hamburg PA) killing resort. They have been through hell, but now they rest in comfort. SHARK spared no effort or expense in their rescue and medical care. All that mattered was that they needed us and we did what we had to.

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