A business boss has been urged to act to save the lives of pigeons trapped in a shut-down South Tyneside store.
At least one bird has died – and can be seen by passing pedestrians through the shop’s window lying amid a pile of rubble – inside the former Home Style store, in Fowler Street, South Shields.
The former kitchen, bedroom and bathroom outlet closed around a year ago.
But its metal security shutter remains half open. The birds are thought to be getting in either through the door, which is not fully secure, or the roof.
Three were spotted alive inside by grandmother Amanda Tennet, 52, of South Shields, who reported it to South Tyneside Council.
However, one has since died and the remaining two are thought to be trapped.
Mrs Tennet said: “I don’t especially like pigeons, but to me, this is cruelty.
“There were three alive and now only two. You can see the dead one from the street, and I think it has starved to death.
“I walk past the shop with my grandson and he has seen the dead bird, which isn’t nice for him.
“It’s not a pleasant sight for anyone, let alone a child, and I hope something can be done to save these two birds.”
Retail staff working in Fowler Street say Home Style was closed by at least last summer.
They say the shutter, originally completed shut, had been lifted to allow access and only partially pulled back down.
One said: “The premises is a right mess, and something needs to be done about it.
“I think the birds have got in through the door, which doesn’t lock properly – I’ve seen someone push it part open.
“I hope something can be done to stop any more getting in and to save those already there.”
The council said it had contacted the building’s owner, who has promised to visit the premises to remove the pigeons.
A spokesman added: “We have also been advised by the owner that work will be carried out to the roof in the very near future which will prevent other birds entering the building.”
The Gazette has been unable to contact the owner.