Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pigeon Shoots Terminated at Straustown Rod and Gun Club

December 29, 2008
(source: SHARK)

Christmas came a day late for SHARK investigators, but the present Santa delivered was well worth the wait - the termination of pigeon shoots at the Straustown Rod and Gun Club. December 26 was supposed to be the first day of the annual three-day pigeon slaughter at the Straustown Club, located outside Strausstown, Pennsylvania. Yes, the Club is missing a "s" from its name - go figure. SHARK investigators spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day driving to Pennsylvania for this shoot.

Straustown has held hundreds of pigeon shoots for many years, with the late December shoot being the big end-of-the-year finale. You may recall that last November, SHARK investigators were on the scene to video document a shoot at the club when they encountered Pennsylvania State Police Corporal Kenneth Winter. Winter illegally ordered the investigators off public easement that had been used by shoot protesters and other observers for many years. See video here.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) came to SHARK's aid, contacting the Pennsylvania State Police and threatening court action if the police harassment continued. Interestingly, not a single police officer appeared on December 26, so apparently the police now agree with SHARK and the ACLU regarding the use of public easement.

Because of the ACLU's involvement, the pigeon shooters knew SHARK was coming for the end-of-the-year finale. They knew SHARK was going to video document not only the killing, but their faces and their automobiles and license plates, and SHARK was going to put it all on the internet.

These cowards, many of whom come from outside of Pennsylvania, don't want to be known as the animal abusers they truly are. They may have decided that feeding their bloodlust simply was not worth the certainty of exposure to the world. Shortly after SHARK's arrival on December 26, the first day of the three-day annual slaughter, the pigeon workers proceeded to dismantle the equipment used for pigeon shoots.

After three hours, all the equipment used for at least 15 years for the pigeon shoots was loaded onto pigeon supplier Don Bailey's truck and hauled away.

For two more mornings SHARK monitored the gun club, Don Bailey's house, and another gun club called Wing Pointe used for pigeon shoots. Nothing was happening. There was no massacre.

The end of pigeon shoots at the Straustown Rod and Gun Club is a historic event in animal protection. I can think of no club that had as many pigeon shoots as the Straustown club. Furthermore, the club is only about a mile from the home of Don Bailey, who supplies pigeons for pigeon shoots across Pennsylvania. This was the easiest and more profitable place for Bailey to produce his blood festivals. Every other place Bailey goes will be more difficult and expensive for him.

Pigeon shoots are under a great deal of pressure. There are ongoing lawsuits, and efforts to make pigeon shoots illegal in Pennsylvania, but still they persist. SHARK must continue to pursue these cold-blooded killers, not to mention other animal abusers involved in other cruel events such as rodeos.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who commit acts of animal cruelty before, during or after live pigeon shoots.

Heidi Prescott, The HSUS' senior vice president of campaigns, states "We encourage anyone with information related to supplying birds, gambling or specific acts of cruelty occurring at shoots to come forward."

Individuals with information may call the toll-free live pigeon shoot tip line at 1-800-637-4124. Individuals may request to remain anonymous.

No comments: