This rescued dove was feeling a little off colour today – after being dyed BLUE by pranksters.
The bird – dubbed ‘Mr Blue’ by rescuers – was picked up by the RSPCA after being spotted by a member of the public in Ferndown, Dorset.
It was taken to the animal charity’s centre near Ringwood, Hants., where it is currently being cared for.
RSPCA inspector Graham Hammond said: ”The bird was coloured blue possibly for a prank or to match a colour scheme for a function.
”Although the bird may not have suffered, dyeing any living creature in this way sends out a very worrying message that animals are nothing more than novelty accessories and we will be offering the owner advice on this matter before the bird is returned.
”Mr Blue has perked up a bit now and is doing well but is still blue. It’s clearly domestically bred because it is very happy to be handled.
”We need to get in contact with the owner as soon as possible to try and return their dove to them.”
RSPCA officials added that eventually the bird will moult and the dyed blue feathers will be replaced by new white ones.
Mr Blue, who has a ring around its leg, will be put up for adoption if no-one claims it.
Anyone with information about this dove is urged to contact the RSPCA cruelty and information line on 0300-1234-999.