Six ’emaciated’ pigeons were dumped in a box and abandoned by the side of the road.
One of the birds had already starved to death by the time the grim discovery – on Cherry Tree Drive in Hazel Grove, Stockport – was made on Saturday.
The other birds were so skinny that their bones were visible.
A resident found the pigeons at the side of her driveway and alerted the RSPCA after realising they were not in good health.
Inspector Heather Morris was sent to the scene and found the five surviving birds were very unwell. They were emaciated, lame, had pigeon pox and were very dirty.
They were taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre where a vet assessed them and decided the kindest thing to do would be to put them to sleep to end their suffering.
Inspector Morris said: “It is really unusual to have pigeons abandoned and it was so sad to see them in such a sorry state.
“Whoever allowed to them to get like that would have known they were unwell and emaciated – that doesn’t happen overnight. Their bones were visible they were so thin.
“I believe they were in this box for 24 to 48 hours and during that time the starving birds were without food and water.
“It is so cruel to just dump animals like this, if they are ill they should be taken to the vets to be put out of their misery but not left to suffer a lingering death.”
She said one bird was ringed but the details were out of date. There was a name on the rings which read “Behrooz”.
The cardboard box was also distinctive with the words ‘Private Reserve Fries’ written on the side.
Inspector Morris added: “I would like to appeal to anyone who recognises the name on the ring or knows of this type of pigeon in the area to come forward.”
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