The Miracle of the Seven Survivors: Through My Eyes Has Horror Been Seen
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.
The Reality of the Story
We will again be there to rescue the victims, because that is what we do.
WATCH VIDEO OF THE SEVEN SURVIVORS HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnvqjigezC0
These innocent and beautiful birds were all victims of a live pigeon
shoot held on December 5 at the Wing Pointe 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.
The veterinary bill was more than $2,300, and that was only one part of how much we spent on this mission. When you factor in travel and other expenses, that number rises dramatically. Only SHARK and its brave, dedicated volunteers are at these debauched blood fests.
We are asking for your help. SHARK must continue to be there for all the victims of live pigeon shoots. If we can count on you, both you and the pigeons can count on us.
There are some groups whose concern is solely on the individual animal, and they ignore the overall problem, while others focus on the big picture and ignore the individual. SHARK is one of those unique organizations that does both; we've fought against pigeon shoots in the Pennsylvania state capitol, in counties and towns and right down to the killing fields where the shooting happens. We've taken on Governors and the NRA and yet cupped wounded birds in our hands. We strike in the name of non-violence and justice against corruption and those who find joy in the spilling of innocent blood.
As the holiday season approaches, please consider sending in a generous donation in the name of these survivors, so that SHARK may continue to fight for these poor souls until we end the nightmare of live pigeon shoots forever.
You can donate online or mail in a donation here:
After SHARK uncovered the horror of the dead pile, where Wing Pointe had dumped still living birds into a large mound of corpses, we filed a private criminal complaint against the resort with both the police and office of Berks County District Attorney John Adams. We were told we would have a response in 2 - 3 weeks. That was exactly one month ago and there has been no word.
When SHARK rescued 21 wounded birds from Wing Pointe after a brutal shoot on December 5, we filed another complaint, again with the police and DA Adams. Nothing has been done by either the police or the district attorney's office. The evidence is clear and overwhelming, but the authorities still refuse to take action on what are egregious, repeated violations of Pennsylvania anti-cruelty statutes.
Adams, a shill for the pigeon shooting community, may think he can wait us out or that this can be swept under the rug, but he's wrong. We won't let this go and we will see Wing Pointe held accountable for the crimes they've committed.
The Wing Pointe killing fields border a public park. This is fortuitous, for it means SHARK can be legally positioned on public land and video-document animal cruelty.
Last Saturday, December 11, SHARK investigator Stu Chaifetz was on that public land and videotaping two hunters on the Wing Pointe property who were shooting stocked pheasants.
The hunters were aware Stu was there. He was hard to miss in his blaze orange outfit. One of the shooters, knowing he was being filmed, first grabbed his crotch, and then exposed himself. Not very smart, but we really shouldn't expect people who shoot cage raised animals to have any sort of measurable intelligence anyway.
What the hunters did next, however, went beyond stupid and childish. One of them fired a gunshot right over Stu's position. The camera recorded the sound of the shot and pellets hitting the area.
Stu called the State Police, who stopped the two hunters. Next, we filed a complaint with the PA Game Commission. The complaint is currently under investigation. We will keep you updated and release a YouTube video of the incident in the near future.
Soon after the shooting, Wing Pointe sent two men in an ATV speeding across their land and to where Stu was. Without stopping or slowing down, they did a quick drive by and then raced away. They knew SHARK was present, even on a day when there wasn't a pigeon shoot being held.
This is interesting, because the next day, Sunday, they had a pigeon "tower shoot" scheduled...but it never happened. A tower shoot is another obscene killing event wherein a group of killers form a wide circle around a wooden shed with no roof.
A person in the shed has boxes of pigeons (or sometimes pheasants), and
he simply tosses them out of the roofless structure.
It seems SHARK's ability to be there when they least expected it shook them up enough to cancel what would have been a very embarrassing event. Score one for the birds, zero for the inbreds.
Rest assured, friends, we'll keep fighting Wing Pointe until the cruelty ends.