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Leigh’s Lost and Found: Two found pigeons in Brighton, ended up being from Brooklyn, New York!

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 10:25 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In today’s Leigh’s Lost and Found, one of the most unusual success stories we’ve ever seen.

The story involves two banded pigeons found in Brighton and you won’t believe how far away they were from their original home.

“It was really weird because these pigeons were kind of just hanging out.”

Leslie Sawyer volunteers at the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch in Brighton, where the two pigeons were found in bad shape.

“One of the pigeons, the gray one, was very weak and so she was easier to catch than the other white one.”

Leslie’s friend Sarah stepped in with a net and got that one and got them to a vet.

“They were treated for parasites and worms as well intestinal parasites and feather mites and dehydration.”

Then they turned to tracking down the bird’s owner based on the bands on their legs.

“Through those band numbers, Sarah was able to trace them all the way to Brooklyn, New York. They were being used as racing pigeons and had left for a race in November and had been missing since November.”

Turns out pigeon racing is a billion dollar industry. According to a promotional video, on race day, pigeon fanciers release their birds hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their respective bird lofts and win money based on the pigeon who gets back first.

As Leslie and Sarah did more research into the industry, they had second thoughts about their original plan to ship the birds back to New York.

“We contacted the owner again and said is there anyway we can keep the pigeons, we’ll cover the medical expenses. He didn’t even hesitate and he said sure, you can keep the pigeons.”

Leslie says, “Sarah has now been caring for these pigeons as her own pets. She has decided they will live out their lives with her and husband.”

Max and Sam as they’re now called, are getting stronger every day and seem happy to put their racing days behind them.

Leslie says, “it was a long journey for them to get somewhere safe but we’re glad that they decided to rest at Good Samaritan Boys Ranch and we could get them help and find them a forever home.”

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