Firm to euthanize pesky birds
By David Schwartz
The pigeons that hang around theMadison Street Jail still face a death sentence, but poison perches are out.
Now, their date with the executioner will be carried out in a kinder, gentler way: gas or lethal injection.
Maricopa County officials said late Friday afternoon that they plan to hire a company to round up the pigeons and euthanize them.
"This is the best solution we could come up with," said Assistant County Manager Jack Shomenta, who earlier had proposed poisoning the birds as a cost-effective solution to pigeon droppings.
But there are still those who argue for an appeal.
"Gee, they're just bound and determined to kill these birds," said Dave Roth, a spokesman for the Urban Wildlife Society. "At this point, it's become some kind of ego thing. This is just ridiculous to kill those defenseless creatures."
The Arizona Humane Society would rather see the birds get a pardon, but was pleased to see that their demise would be humane.
The pigeons were condemned in December, when officials said they were going to install poison perches that would kill the birds as the toxins soaked into their feet. The plan prompted 2,000 calls to the county; more than half said to pull the plug on the poopy pigeons.
But although the jury apparently is in, officials this time called a rare, last-minute press conference to explain their execution strategy.
And they're working on a plan to deter future violations: a sticky substance that is supposed to irritate the birds and make them move.
They'll also try to take temptation out of the way, asking hot-dog vendors to move away from the building.
"Gee, they're just bound and determined to kill these birds," said Dave Roth,
a spokesman for the Urban
"At this point, it's become some kind of an ego thing."