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On Sunday night we watched the 2005 WWII pigeon cartoon ‘Valiant’. At the end of the movie they stated that of the 54 Dickin Medals* awarded to animals in war, 32 of them went to messenger pigeons (18 to dogs, 3 to horses and 1 to a cat). I thought that was pretty awesome! Pigeons have so many uses and they certainly deserve recognition for all the wonderful things they do.

The story of Cher Ami and G.I. Joe pigeons are quite well known so there’s no need for me to retype what has already been written. You can find their stories at http://nationalpigeonday.blogspot.com/2008/03/history-of-cher-ami.html, http://www.wingswest.net/pigeons/Warpigeons/warpigeons.html and http://pigeonexpresso.com/famous-pigeons.html if you haven’t heard of the heroic deeds they did. There seems to be quite a few war memorials for animals around the world and one is the Animals In War Memorial in London which I haven’t yet been to but it looks like an interesting place to visit: http://www.animalsinwar.org.uk/index.cfm?asset_id=1373 I don’t go to London often (I’m a country mouse by heart), however, I will try to visit the war memorial some day soon.

After watching ‘Valiant’ I also thought that there aren’t enough pigeons in animated movies out there. The pigeons in the 2008 animated cartoon ‘Bolt’ are pretty cool, however, they don’t play a major role. There are numerous short animated film starring pigeons that can be found on YouTube but not all of them are nice.

When I get some free time I’ll compile a list of favourite short pigeon animations. In the meantime we’ll just have to pray that Pixar/Disney etc. start making more pigeon movies – it’s not like there’s a lack of story ideas and inspiration out there!!

* In 1943 Maria Dickin, the founder of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a British veterinary charity, instituted the Dickin Medal to honour the work of animals in war.