The San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control reminded residents Wednesday that dumping domesticated animals is illegal after more than two dozen domesticated birds were dumped in city parks recently.
According to the department, 27 domesticated pigeons, king pigeons and quail were turned in at the city’s open admission animal shelter last weekend after being dumped in local parks.
Abandoning domesticated animals in nature is a crime subject to fines of up to $1,000 and potentially jail time.
Dumping of domesticated animals is a common problem, according to the department. Last year, the department accepted 183 domesticated birds dumped around the city, 54 of which were dead, sick or badly wounded.
People will also often buy birds, reptiles and fish from food markets to release them into the wild. However, domesticated animals generally have no experience living and surviving in the wild and can become a danger to local ecosystems and native wildlife, particularly if they are a non-native species.
Residents can bring unwanted domesticated animals to the Department of Animal Care and Control’s open admission shelter, which accepts all species of animals and does not turn relinquished animals away.
The department’s animal control officers will also respond daily to requests of abandoned animals and animals in danger.
The department’s emergency animal control dispatch can be reached from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at (415) 554-9400.
Residents interested in adopting one of the king pigeons can visit the shelter, located at 1200 15th St., from noon to 5:30 p.m. daily and until 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.