Dear PoPville – How Do We Help a Bird trapped in DSW (Columbia Heights)?

by Prince Of Petworth May 20, 2013 at 11:30 am 18 Comments

Irving Street, NW just west of 14th

Dear PoPville,

I was in DSW earlier and witnessed a poor bird trapped in the store. He kept flying into the windows trying to get out. It’s so heartbreaking.

I went to talk to the manager – he acknowledged that they have tried to call Animal Control ‘numerous’ times to capture the bird. In the meantime the have been trying to coax the bird outside, and they have been feeding him.

I tried calling 311 over and over again (apparently Animal Control is available 24 hrs a day). Not once did I speak to anyone in Animal Control. All I kept getting is a recording to not leave a message and to call back when the line was free. Huh?!?!

I did tweet @DOHDC with this earlier today – no response. I am not a DC resident so I am not quite sure what else can be done.

Any help/suggestions??

  • beabeth

    You can contact DDOE’s ornithologist at 202-535-1737

    • Anonymous

      I am the person who sent PoPville the email. Thank you to everyone for your responses!

      I did call 202-576-6664 this morning and was told an officer would be dispatched.

      I just called DSW to follow-up – the bird is still there and no one has shown up as of yet. He has been in there a week.

      beabeth – i just called the ornithologist (Dan). He said he was going to call DSW to see if they would like him to come out there.

      • squid

        Hey Anonymous (OP), do you know if the ornithologist got a response from DSW? Thank you for contacting him!

  • PFL

    Hey, GI Jane was on this weekend. “I never saw a wild thing
    sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
    without ever having felt sorry for itself.”

  • Anonymous

    Animal Control is run through the Wahington Humane Society –

    For Animal Emergencies, CALL WHS DC Animal Care and Control

  • bloomies

    The WHS Cruelty Line and general help line is: 202-234-8626. I have it in my phone for instances like this. You can bypass 311 by calling that directly.

  • Jon

    My wife and I called the Humane Society Animal Control branch when we found baby birds in our dryer vent a few weeks ago. They came out to our house within a couple hours to pick up the baby birds and take them to a rehabilitation center. I was very impressed with the response we get from them.

  • animals

    A quick question…If you had a squirrel in your attic, had been there for weeks and couldn’t or wouldn’t leave. Who would you call?

    DC Animal control is to deal with stray or dangerous animals in the public domain, not every bird, chipmunk, squirrel or cricket that happens to find its way into a building.

    I don’t know if the store manager was just telling this person what they wanted to hear (We’ve called animal control) when they haven’t, or if they really have or not but there are a number of humane animal trapping and removal services out there, call one. You are a 3 billion dollar a year business, and you let a bird fly around your store for weeks crapping on everything because instead of spending $200 bucks calling one of a number of animal removal services, you wait for weeks on end for someone who is more qualified to deal with rabid dogs, to come out and catch a bird in your store?

    • Anonymous

      that is not true in any way.

      animal control absolutely deals with birds and other wild animal that get into or near home spaces or businesses. a friend who lived in CH once called them because a bird’s nest fell into her enclosed patio (from another building) and she had a dead bird and a live bird that couldn’t/wouldn’t get off the ground. they told her it was totally the right thing to have done and removed them both.

  • Anonymous

    These hipsters in Columbia Heights are taking the whole “Put a bird on it!” thing just a little too far…

  • Had a starling trapped in a wall of my building once and had to cut a piece of drywall to get it out. Before we opened the wall, we turned off all the lights and blackened all the windows except one, which we opened as wide as we could. The second the bird was let free, it flew out the window.

    • Reb

      Should’ve killed it. Starlings are a scourge.

    • Damn Starlings have snatched all the leaves off of 2 tomato plants. (I know it was them – I was standing there 3 feet away when one did it.) They are are introduced pests that have exploited a niche and displaced native birds. Let them die.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. When I worked in retail, the manager had to call ‘corporate’ to authorize anything and everything. So maybe that is why mgmt has not called a professional.

    At this point, if I was the manager, I would pay out-of-pocket to have the bird freed.

  • Accept Darwinian imperatives. The bird screwed up and got trapped. It will either find a way out, adapt to living in a shoe store, or die.

  • Susan Bodiker

    The direct line to Animal Control is 202 576.6664. I have always found them humane and responsive.

  • Suzi

    OK so the bird is STILL trapped in the store. Calling 202-576-6664 every day has not worked. Calling DSW (and even giving them a referral from the Humane Society – which will cost money) has not worked. I am now on the phone with 311 and they are trying to find me someone to talk to (supervisor/manager) to see why these people rescue this bird.

    I actaully just left a message with the Director. I do not live in DC (just really concerned for the bird). It’s beyond frustrating.


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