Ford the pheasant was recovered from a backyard in Aldergrove. He is now a resident of LAPS, currently up for adoption. (LAPS/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

‘Fancy’ pheasants on the loose in Aldergrove

A male Lady Amherst Pheasant named Ford was safely captured and is currently up for adoption at LAPS

At least two pheasants were on the loose in Aldergrove this April.

From where they came, no one yet knows.

A male Lady Amherst Pheasant – newly dubbed “Ford” by the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) – was captured safely by animal control officers after repeated sightings of the non-native bird from worried Aldergrove residents.

“Many people were concerned that he might get hit by a car or eaten by a predator,” explained LAPS spokesperson Drew

Langley’s Animal Protection Society has had to close its doors to drop-in visits to prevent COVID-19 spread, but it’s still working hard to find its animals in Aldergrove a place to call home.

“All of the cats and dogs currently available for adoption are listed on our website,” LAPS spokesperson Drew Harkness said.

The only real change – aside from increased shelter sanitization measures – is that people interested in meeting a potential pet must call the shelter in advance to schedule an appointment.

“This way it’s easier to limit contact between people,” Harkness elaborated.

Due to the public health crisis, LAPS had to postpone its yearly no-cost clinic for homeless and low-income pet owners.

But the non-profit is doing all it can – during a climate of widespread closures and resulting job losses – to lighten the load of Langley families with pets.

At Patti Dale Shelter in Aldergrove, LAPS is offering food bank services for pet owners.

Seven days per week, by calling the shelter at 604-857-5055 people can request the pick-up of food for their furry friends.

RELATED: Cat shot in the face survives after rescue by Langley Good Samaritan

LAPS volunteers are even able to leave food outside the shelter for pick-up, encouraging social distancing.

Harkness hopes this initiative – which serves an average of 30 households per month – helps local families and their pets stay together.

“Without this extra support, many more families would be forced to surrender their beloved animals to shelters,” Harkness related.

Thankfully, she said, there hasn’t been an increase in animal surrenders since the COVID-19 first touched B.C.

Langley individuals and businesses are encouraged to donate dry and canned dog or cat food to the pet food bank, which LAPS relies upon to offer the program.

Donations can be dropped off seven days per week at 26220 56 Ave., from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

.

“He was spotted wandering around various backyards in the area.”

Aldergrove resident Kelsey Robson, a photographer, was alerted to the presence of Ford after her brother heard noises coming from their backyard on April 17.

“He was squawking so loud,” Robson explained.

As of May 1, LAPS is asking if someone has both the interest and the means to adopt a “fancy bird” like Ford.

“His favourite things to do are strut around and remind staff when it is getting close to his next feeding time,” Harkins added.

RELATED: LAPS nears $5,000 in fundraising goal through virtual Furry Tails race

Now, as reported by several other Aldergrove residents, what appears to be a female pheasant is still on the loose, roaming various backyards and streets.

Golden in colour, the exotic bird has been dubious to repeated attempts at being captured by locals and brought into the care of an animal protection agency.

The Lady Amherst Pheasant species of birds – such as Ford – are native to southwestern China, according to the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

If spotted, residents can call 604-857-5055 to speak with LAPS’ animal control officers.

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A golden pheasant is still on the loose in Aldergrove. It is not confirmed whether the female bird is a close companion of the male, Ford. (Submitted photo)

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