Above:  Some of the stolen birds. Have you been offered fantails recently, perhaps in the Derby area? All photos: Marcus Conner


RECENTLY REHOMED FANTAIL pigeons were stolen from a Derby rescue centre, just a week after their owner had to give them up through ill­ness.

Thirty of the 45 birds, the majority of them exhibition fantails, had been promised a home for life at the centre, so that the previous owner and his family could visit them. The centre also had some other pigeons that were taken in when their owner died.

Marcus Conner, who runs the Derby and Not­tingham Pigeon Rescue, said: “The gentleman has a lung disease, which the birds were making worse. He is dis­traught and his family very upset b e c a u s e they were hoping to visit the fan­tails. He has bred them from two pairs and had kept them for four or five years; they were a big part of the family’s life.”

He continued: “We have never had a problem here; we had a few stolen when we were in Birmingham and the person responsible is still in prison.”

Mr Conner and his part­ner were away when the break-in took place on March 19, but his mother was looking after the prem­ises. Wire netting was flat­tened and padlocks ripped off the sheds. Police are examining CCTV footage for clues as to who committed the crime.

Three of the birds were ringed, but the rest were not. The pigeons at the res­cue centre come and go as they please, flying free and returning to the sheds to roost.

The centre started out as pigeon rescue, but also keeps chickens, ducks, geese, peacocks and feral cats. It has even rehomed canaries and a Java sparrow.

Mr Conner added: “It knocked me for six to dis­cover what had happened. But we will continue to run the centre and help any creature we can.”

The rescue centre is offering a reward for any information leading to the safe return of the birds. Visit: www.derbyandnotting­hampigeonrescue.org.uk

  • Anyone with information should call the police on 101 and quote the crime reference number: 19000141626.


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