Poisoned? Pigeons found dead in downtown Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Pigeons found lying on a sidewalk in downtown Pittsburgh might have been poisoned.

A woman walking spotted at least 10 pigeons on the ground outside the Frick Building. She reported it to Pittsburgh police and an animal welfare organization.

Officials with Humane Action Pittsburgh believe the birds were poisoned with corn laced with a chemical that impacts the nervous system.

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“I found out on Thanksgiving Day when one of our members called me very upset that she had found pigeons downtown. Clearly, they had been poisoned. They were convulsing. Most were dead. She was able to scoop up a couple that were still alive, trying to save them, but I don’t think she was able to,” Natalie Ahwesh, Vice President of Humane Action Pittsburgh, said.

Ahwesh said the company that manages the Frick Building hired a company out of Reading to help with pigeon issues.

In March, a law passed in the city of Pittsburgh made it illegal to harm wild birds, such as pigeons, in any way. The birds are being tested to determine if they ingested a chemical.

The company, Bird Control Services, is not local and says that’s why it didn’t get the letter from the city. As soon as they learned about the new ordinance, a company spokesperson said it immediately stopped.

“I don’t think ignorance is an excuse in this matter, and I’d hope that the people responsible will be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Ahwesh said.