Pigeon shoots and swimming pools don’t normally go together. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the pigeon shoots held this past weekend at Wing Pointe, a canned hunting resort in Pennsylvania which happens to be owned by swimming pool magnate Joseph Solana, Jr. of Carlton Pools. Wing Pointe bills itself as “Resort Luxury for the Sport Shooting Enthusiast” and caters to the types of people willing to spend close to $300 to kill 25 quail in three hours.
Pretty much everyone knows what swimming pools are, but some might be unfamiliar with the barbaric practice of pigeon shooting.
The animal protection group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), who is campaigning to stop pigeon shoots, describes them as “competitions where thousands of birds are shot, killed or suffer terrible wounds and crippling pain. These innocent animals are neither fed nor given water for days before the shooting starts, so that they will be easier targets. Suffering from dehydration and starvation, they are then launched out of small wooden boxes and into a storm of gunfire.”
In this so-called sport, the pigeons are either propelled from mechanical launches or tethered to the ground so they cannot escape. For the majority of the birds, their wounds are not fatal, and they’re left to suffer slow deaths.
Pennsylvania is the only state where this sort of thing is both condoned and legal. The editors of one Pennsylvania paper wrote: “The mechanical launch and tethering at bird shoots continue to be an embarrassment to our commonwealth. Other states have wisely banned the contests leaving us with the lone reputation of enabling them.”
It’s bad enough people get their kicks out of blowing away harmless, defenseless birds. At least a few of them also appear to be hate-filled misogynistic jerks. In February 2010, according to the Press of Atlantic City, New Jersey lawyer Richard Shackleton was participating in a pigeon shoot at a Pennsylvania gun club. Two women, both members of SHARK, videotaped him gunning down defenseless pigeons. Classy guy that Shackleton is, he responded with obscenities aimed at the women. The whole thing is on video.
Activists for SHARK have had trouble with other pigeon shooters as well. For example, in December, 2009, attorney Sean M. Corr assaulted Steve Hindi, who was videotaping a pigeon shoot at the elite Philadelphia Gun Club. Corr pleaded guilty to harassment and was fined $187.44.
SHARK isn’t backing down in the face of cowardly pigeon shooters. They have continued to march in protest in front of both the Wing Pointe bloodbath resort and in front of Carlton Pools retail stores. In fact, this Tuesday, Feb. 22 there will be a protest at the Carlton Pools location at 311 York Road, Warminster PA from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For those who cannot attend, SHARK is asking that you contact all of the Carlton Pools locations that day to politely show your opposition to the vile live pigeon shoots that Carlton Pools owner Joseph Solana, Jr. has at Wing Pointe.
Photo Credit: SHARK