A PET-SHOP owner was left in a flap after a flock of canaries was found behind his shop.
John-Paul Stephenson, owner of JP’s Pet Supplies, was left shocked when the birds were discovered in the back lane of his Fulwell store.
The canaries were spotted by a customer who came into the shop to alert staff of the unusual find.
John-Paul, 32, from Pallion, fears the birds may have been dumped there.
He said: “We had a customer come in the shop and they said there were some birds flying around outside the back and did we know anything about it.
“Something like that has never really happened before so it was quite a shock.
“My shop assistant managed to catch three of them, but we think there could be more that had flown further away. I think they are canaries but I’m not an expert on birds. We don’t keep them in the shop.”
The shop owner suspects the birds, which are white in colour with small markings, had been released behind his store by their previous owner.
John-Paul said: “They could have got out of an aviary, but I think someone has just dumped them because they are tame and we were able to handle them. Also, it’s a bit of a coincidence that they were found outside of a pet shop.
“It often happens that people buy pets and find they can’t cope with them and so they drop them off at shelters or sometimes they get dumped.”
Although the three captured canaries are now secure in John-Paul’s shop, he is worried that there could have been more that flew away.
John-Paul said: “If someone has let them go they’ve let them go to their deaths because against a cat or bigger wild birds these little tame ones don’t stand a chance.”
Now fed and watered the three birds are settling into their new home.
“If nobody comes forward for them I will probably keep them as shop birds,” added John-Paul.
Anyone with information about the birds can contact JP’s Pet Supplies, tel. 549 7344.