A SPCA inspector will be looking into reports of dozens of dead and dying pigeons in Onehunga after locals cry foul play.
Onehunga resident Janine Chester was walking her dog through Jellicoe Park this morning when she noticed dead pigeons everywhere.
She was shocked to find a crate containing about a dozen unwell pigeons in the park and rushed them to The Vets on Manukau Rd.
"I was shocked that someone could be so cruel and when I got to the vet I felt quite elated that one of them was still alive," Chester said.
"There was one sitting on top, alive, sitting on all his dead mates.
"The thing is they left this box right by the children's sandpit.
"I was horrified - and angry actually because there was a kid playing in the sandpit."
To leave the box somewhere kids could hear the distressed and dying birds was something a "disturbed mind" would do, Chester said.
"It's a little local park and there are often people walking through with their dogs and their children."
Tongan Advisory Council chairman Melino Maka has noticed an ongoing issue with dead pigeons in Onehunga.
Maka said one of his neighbours had seen someone throwing what might have been poisonous pellets nearby.
"The pigeons are dying left, right and centre," Maka said.
It was going to be a major public health issue and it needed to be stopped, he said.
It was awful to see the suffering pigeons struggle to fly and breathe - "it's so cruel."
"It was quite upsetting."
Maka took it upon himself to rescue one of the pigeons and has been caring for it at home.
A SPCA spokeswoman said they have received "several complaints" related to the pigeons in Onehunga and an animal welfare inspector was looking into what had happened.
"SPCA values the lives of all animals and recognises that they are all equally deserving of protection from suffering pain or distress, regardless of labels that may be assigned to them such as 'pest'," she said.
"SPCA is opposed to the use of poisons to kill animals due to the level of suffering they cause and the indiscriminate nature of their use."
A police spokeswoman said police were aware of the issue and were making inquiries in relation to this matter.
"We would ask anyone with information to contact the Onehunga Community Constable Don Allan on 09 622 8725."
Auckland Council has been contacted for comment.