WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—It has been a year since nearly 200 pigeons were found at a rest stop on I-65 in White County.
55 pigeons were dropped off at this location the first time. Then 88 the second time.
"Some had broken legs, broken winds, they were undernourished it was really sad,” said Rest Park Lead Staff Therese White.
Today, 46 of those pigeons are now safe at a rehabilitation center in Hendricks County called A Critters Chance.
"It's been great seeing their transition,” said Kelly Thomas. “Because they were so skinny and dirty and some of them had some injuries and leg injuries."
Kelly Thomas is the Vice President of a Critters Chance. She split the other half with Wildlife Rehabber Kim Hoover in Northern Indiana.
"They're just not a very wild bird,” said Thomas. “So they need people to take care of them and they need a lot of space, they need a special diet. So some of the situations they've been in are just not ideal."
These talented birds are called Parlor Roller pigeons. They are best known for their ability to somersault on the ground. However, that is not what these unique birds were used for.
"I've heard that they are used for live pigeon shoots in some of the southern states where it's still legal,” said Thomas. “I've heard that they're used to train bird dogs."
Therese White works at the rest stop where the pigeons were dropped off. She said she checks that area every day.
"Me personally when I get here in the morning and after I get my work done I walk down to the dumpster and I look, I always look because you never know,” said White.
Even today, a year later, she says she is still surprised.
"Animals, you just don't pitch animals,” said White. “You know that is horrible. You know any kind of animal. I don't care if it's a bird, a dog, a cat."
Kelly Thomas said these pigeons could be a great pet to someone one day.
"A lot of people don't know about pigeons and how they can be really nice pets,” said Thomas. “They make really nice house pets as far as an indoor bird."