We find that the release of “wedding doves” at weddings and funerals is a cruel and unnecessary practice.
It is not known by the general public that these birds will not survive. This practice is lucrative for wedding businesses and comforting to friends and family, but in fact, kills innocent doves.
We hope you will be inspired, therefore, to help inform the public of the great sadness of this practice by printing the enclosed letter:
One beautiful dove is rescued from human arrogance and abuse. … What about all the others?
It came as a great, not nice surprise when I was called upon to accept a “wedding dove” into the Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary, from a wildlife rehabilitation service.
The so-termed “wedding dove” had been released as a symbol of perfection and peace. But the pure white dove fell to the ground somewhere and was attacked by a dog who pulled out all the feathers on its back as well as the tail feathers.
I accepted the dove which is actually a rock pigeon, bred to be pure white. The wounds were so extensive I brought the downed dove to the Smith Veterinary hospital in hopes of rehabilitation. There, Dr. Julie Blossom assumed responsibility for our dove, “Dew Drop” and she did an admirable job of rehabilitating her.
After several hospital days, which included antibiotic injections in Dew Drop’s chest, Dew Drop was flourishing with fluffy new feathers on her back. Dr. Blossom said I could now bring Dew Drop back to the Sanctuary. She would run, hop, jump and flutter about, but was still unable to fly.
This inhumane practice of releasing doves at weddings is lucrative for wedding services. But ornithologists, biologists and bird lovers world- wide are shocked by the selfish inhumanity of this trend.
If these doves were all trained homing pigeons and could thus fly away from the wedding and find their way home again, that would pose less of a problem, humanely and ethically.
Our rescued Dew Drop is not a homing pigeon… and, according to one ornithologist, was probably in-bred to the point where she cannot fly well.
The doves released at weddings are not native species. Where can they go? Where and what will they eat? Where is their family, their flock, their own kind? Death is inevitable.
According to one professional dove keeper, “This is like murdering the birds; I won’t work with those people.” In the words of a Cornell ornithologist: “It is ridiculous, putting those birds out there to die.”
This practice of abusing an innocent bird to the extent that it dies at the feet of human arrogance casts a very dark cloud over the entire event.
The beautiful bird is sacrificed and for what? Are humans really entitled to do this?
Santa Fe, NM