four indicted in reference to the demise of poisoned pigeons in downtown Pittsburgh – CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pigeons are common in downtown Pittsburgh, and these birds caught a member of Humane Action Pittsburgh by surprise back in November.
The woman, who did not want to be named, noticed about 10 pigeons that were either dead or dying on streets and sidewalks near the Frick building. Some of the birds were even convulsive, so she called Animal Care and Control for help. Corn could be seen on the ground near the birds.
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Autopsies were performed and in the stomach of these pigeons was the active ingredient of Avitrol, which according to Shannon Dickerson of Humane Action Pittsburgh is illegal.
“It’s an extremely dangerous poison that they used. It’s a neurological poison that turns off the neurological systems completely and is highly toxic, ”said Dickerson.
Humane Action Pittsburgh is an organization that aims to protect animals.
Dickerson said in early 2020 that an ordinance had been passed in the city of Pittsburgh making it illegal to capture or harm pigeons.
Four people have now been charged. They are Allen Zimmerman and Randall Hoffmaster with bird protection services near Reading, Pennsylvania. Also charged are Kelly Derbish and Francisco Escalante of Draxxhall Realty, the company that manages the Frick Building. Court documents say Escalante hired the pest control company because the birds were causing problems.
KDKA went to Escalante’s home to see if he would share his side of the story, but the person who responded didn’t speak.
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Draxxhall Realty made this statement:
“Draxxhall Management Corporation (manager of the Frick building) has entered into a contract with a licensed pest control company to support them in the control of a pigeon infestation in the Frick building. Draxxhall has at all times believed that its provider operates in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. Draxxhall vigorously denies that any employee was knowingly involved in criminal activity and looks forward to vigorously defending the charges brought on this matter. ”
Dickerson said this chemical can do more than just harm pigeons.
“Any animal that eats this bird will also be affected and poisoned,” said Draxxhall.
Dickerson said the best way to keep pigeons away is to remove the root cause of the problem, which is usually food.
KDKA also turned to Bird Control Services. They said they had no comment.
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All four people face multiple charges, including increased animal cruelty.