Hoppy was found as an older fledgling on November 28th 2020 by students in the Coventry city centre, who rushed him into us. I suspect that he was caught in pigeon-proofing netting (netting used to prevent them from accessing buildings - highly dangerous and inhumane).
Unfortunately he had sustained various injuries and was starving (underweight) and extremely anaemic, due to blood loss.
He had a broken ulna and had shattered his leg from the pattella to the calcaneal ridge. Unfortunately we knew instantly that the leg wasn't salvageable as this was an open injury that couldn't be closed, nor could the bones be fixed together.
We had to clean the injuries up and provide pain relief and antibiotics straight away. The wounds had to be sprayed daily and the wing was strapped to the body to make sure that the ulna was in place, to fuse and heal. (It was a clean break).
Given the amount he had already gone through and his fight to survive against the odds, we decided (with the vet) that we had to offer him a chance at life even if it meant losing a limb.
We started him on a high quality diet alongside calcium, cc and prebiotics and vitamins to get him healthy before his operation.
During that time we assessed how Hoppy would cope with not living freely and becoming a one legged pigeon & (again) decided that he should be given time to adapt, rather than be immediately euthanised.
He was a very mellow character, he never kicked up a fuss when being handled for his care (he did tiny flaps when we approached him) and you could just see in his eyes that he wanted to live!
On the 10th of December, Hoppy underwent surgery to amputate his leg from the hip. The operation was successful and healed up quickly with no complications. Once the leg was healed well enough we began therapy to help Hoppy adjust to just the one leg and he picked it up - he was determined - and learnt quickly. He would come toward my hand nuzzle it then lean on it for support that was when we knew he was tired.
Hoppy’s wing did heal. He now stays in an aviary with fully able pigeons. He does struggle on a normal tree branch or on round perches but with flat ones he does very well. We’re very glad that we gave him a chance to see if he could live stress free in captivity because he’s a happy pigeon now that he has recovered.
I 100% support any wildscaping initiatives because if Hoppy (and others like him) had been provided a safe habitat in town to live in, he would have been safe from such injuries.
Hoppy matters because he is a vulnerable life with the ability to feel. He deserves to exist and is no different from us in such ways. He is a beautiful angel who we must protect. All pigeons are. It’s not his fault that he is here (on this planet) and we shouldn't treat him (or other pigeons) indifferently.
Natasha (Coo Coventry)