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Emergency Care for the Beloved Birds

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The annual Kaporos rituals ended Friday night and we rescued a small flock of victims in route to their death. Rebecca and her flock were abused and traumatized throughout their transport to the ritual. But because of your support, we were able to rescue them with the promise of lifelong sanctuary. We need you now more than ever to help us keep that promise.

Caregiver Hervé on the ground for triage

Kaporos is a ritual celebrated by some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities on the public streets of Brooklyn prior to Yom Kippur. Practitioners symbolically transfer their sins to a young rooster or hen by swinging the bird around his or her head while reciting a passage, and then the chicken is killed. Many communities choose to use money instead of live birds but a number persist in this cruelty

For five days, 60,000 baby chickens were piled up in cramped crates on the street. It’s estimated that several thousand died of starvation, dehydration, exposure, and injury while awaiting their fate, and their bodies were then discarded like trash into garbage bags and dumpsters.

When the ritual finally began, the young chickens, weak from lack of food and dehydration, were held by their fragile wings, painfully pinned together behind their back, and swung around over the head of the practitioner. Chickens peeped in terror and pain, and in some cases their tiny bones snapped.

These poor chickens had suffered days stuffed in cramped crates, unable to stretch their wings or move comfortably. Unprotected from the elements, they were exposed to the wind, rain, and cold night air. With no one to care for their injuries.

Our hearts break for the innocent victims of this ritual, but I am so thankful that we were able to bring a small flock of survivors home to sanctuary. While they are safe from the ritual now, they suffered and feared for their lives while waiting to meet unimaginable cruelty and death.  Rebecca and her flock need around-the-clock care and rehabilitation. They need you now.

Please give today to give these sweet chickens a new beginning. They are counting on you. As a thank you, anyone who donates $15 or more before Friday, October 13th can suggest names for the Beloved Birds.

As always, thank you for caring for animals in need. It’s because of your support that we are able to rehabilitate them and give them a loving home. We couldn’t do this lifesaving work without you.


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