By Krista Koontz, Humane Society Police Officer

Our Humane Investigations team is on the road daily, investigating suspected cases of animal cruelty and neglect. When necessary, our Humane Society Police Officers are ready to step in and provide rescue for those animals in need.

While the vast majority of companion animals rescued by our Humane Investigations team are dogs, cats and rabbits, our officers have the duty to protect the rights of all animals. Earlier this year, we welcomed a rather unique (and beautiful!) animal into our care, Thumper the peahen.

Our Humane Society Police Officers were alerted to Thumper’s situation when a concerned citizen shared a Craigslist ad listing a peahen with a broken leg being given away for free. To ensure that she received a good home which would provide appropriate veterinary care, Officer Galvin met with the owner. While several individuals had expressed interest in taking Thumper, her owner agreed that it would be best for her to receive specialized care, and she was brought to Animal Friends.

After consulting with two avian veterinarians, it was determined that Thumper’s leg injury was not causing her pain. The best guess was that it had started as a broken ankle which then shifted the placement of her foot and healed. Since she wasn’t using the foot, the tendon contracted and led to her inability to use the leg for walking. Surgery wasn’t a viable option as it may have done more harm than good.

While Animal Friends provides a high level of care to the animals who make their way through our doors, we knew Thumper deserved a permanent home where all of her needs would be met. We reached out to our friends and partners at Kindred Spirits Rescue Ranch to secure placement at their farm sanctuary.

Thumper now spends her days in the care of peafowl experts at Kindred Spirits Rescue Ranch sharing her barn with several friends including four chickens, a turkey, two goats, and a zebu! While her story is very different than the typical case handled by our Humane Investigations team, we were proud to help her find the same outcome as thousands of other animals who come to Animal Friends each year: placement into a safe place she could call home.

If you have witnessed animal cruelty in Allegheny County, contact our Humane Investigations team to give your eyewitness report at 412.847.7066.


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