KNOXVILLE (WATE) – University of Tennessee veterinarians are searching for the owner of two pigeons brought in over the weekend.
Elizabeth Jones posted a picture to the WATE 6 On Your Side Facebook page Sunday saying she found the pigeons in the road and wanted to get them back home. She then took them to UT Veterinary Medical Center.
“They appear to be in good health, so I don’t think they were out for too long, and there’s no external injuries, so I don’t think they were attacked by anything,” said Dr. Patrick Sullivan.
They are fantail pigeons, commonly used for showing or racing. The white one was seen flying around, but the gray one has been more lethargic. Vets at UT say they think it has an internal injury.
“We believe the gray one may have an issue with its crop, which is part of its digestive system,” said Dr. Sullivan.
They ran some tests Monday morning and gave each bird a physical. One of them was wearing a tag around its leg that could give a clue about where they came from.
“It can indicate where they were bred or what state they’re from, and it can also have the owner’s information on it, usually in some sort of code,” said Dr. Sullivan. “I’ve seen racing pigeons before. I can’t say we’ve seen a lot of fantails come in here, but people do breed them and people keep them as show animals and as pets.”
The vets say the woman who found the pigeons did the right thing by bringing them in, but sometimes they say it is best to leave the animals alone.
“We ask that if they find injured wildlife they should bring them in, but if they find healthy wildlife that they leave them there,” said Dr. Sullivan.
The veterinarians say if you own these pigeons or you know who does, you can contact them at (865) 974-8387.