The Washington Post

Humane Society: Bird was beaten to death

The Washington Humane Society is trying to find out who apparently tied up a bird and beat it to death.

The bird, a female robin, was found tied to a tree at the intersection of Biltmore Street and Cliffbourne Place NW in Adams Morgan. A passerby saw it Sunday and called the Humane Society, which conducted a necropsy.

The results, according to Humane Society vice president Scott Giacoppo, demonstrated that the bird was still alive when it was tied up. It died of blunt-force trauma, the sort of injuries that would happen if humans intentionally swung it around or pummeled it.

“These types of injuries could not have been obtained by her flying into a window, for instance, or being hit by a car. They’re consistent with acts of physical violence,” Giacoppo said. “This was intentional, with malice, with severe brutality.”

Giacoppo said the bird may have already been stunned from flying into a window or may have been otherwise injured, or the perpetrator may have used a net to ensnare the bird before tying it up.

The Washington Humane Society posted this photograph of the dead robin on flyers around Adams Morgan. (Washington Humane Society)

The Humane Society put up flyers around Adams Morgan and posted on social media that it would offer a $3,000 reward for information about the perpetrator.

Giacoppo said that people convicted of abusing animals face up to 180 days in jail for misdemeanor charges, such as leaving a dog in a hot car or failing to take a sick pet to a veterinarian, and up to five years in jail for felony charges, which he said he would like to see brought in this case.

“A lot of people will question, ‘She’s just a bird, a robin. What’s the big deal?’ We take every instance as seriously as every other one,” Giacoppo said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a bird, a cat, a dog. That’s what was committed against this animal: It was basically beaten to death.”

Julie Zauzmer is a local news reporter.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.