Homing Pigeon Accidentally Travels from England to Alabama and Ends Up at Animal Shelter

Alabama's Monroe County Animal Shelter is working to reunite the 4-year-old pigeon, named Bob, with his owner back home in the U.K.

Champion homing pigeon accidentally travels from England to Alabama animal shelter
Photo: Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter

A homing pigeon named Bob ended up thousands of miles off the mark on a recent trip from his home in the U.K.

On June 29, the Monroe County Animal Shelter shared on Facebook that they are helping a 4-year-old pigeon — who accidentally traveled 4,000 miles from its home in Gateshead, England, to Mexia, Alabama — return to his owner.

In the post, the shelter, located in Monroeville, Alabama, explained that a man recently called the facility looking for help with a pigeon that showed up at his home and refused to leave. The shelter sent a staff member to catch the bird and bring it back to the rescue. At the shelter, staff members used the tracking number found on a band on the bird's leg and a microchip scanner to obtain the owner's contact information and find the pigeon's home.

The information gleaned from the tracking number and microchip led the shelter to the North of England Homing Union, a site for pigeon racing. The shelter's staff followed the website's instructions for reporting a "stray bird" and were connected to Alan Todd — the pigeon's owner who lived 4,000 miles away in England.

"We are currently working on a game plan to return this champion pigeon to its owner, who was extremely happy to hear from us," the shelter wrote on social media.

"We also did a quick stop by Airport Animal Clinic to see Dr. Compton. Other than being underweight from its travel, it looks pretty good," Monroe County Animal Shelter added of the pigeon's health.

Todd, the bird's owner, told The Guardian that three weeks ago, his homing pigeon named Bob was on a trip from the Channel Islands to Newcastle, England, that was supposed to take 10 hours. Instead, Bob the bird likely hitched a ride across the Atlantic on a ship and ended up in Alabama.

Monroe County Animal Shelter has taken good care of Bob since the pigeon landed in the U.S., Todd added to the outlet. The owner also said that the shelter set up a video chat reunion for him and Bob while Todd and the facility figure out the pigeon's transportation to England.

Champion homing pigeon accidentally travels from England to Alabama animal shelter
Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter

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On Saturday, the shelter shared a video of Bob enjoying his stateside stay after a positive trip to the veterinarian.

"Bob had a great vet visit today. Last few days have been quite busy," the facility captioned the clip.

Todd has since created a GoFundMe account to help cover the expenses involved in Bob's trip back home.

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