A DISTRAUGHT pet owner, who was left “traumatised” after almost a dozen of her birds were stolen in a terrifying theft, has issued a heartfelt appeal for their safe return.
Anne Ferguson has been forced to take time off work to deal with the stress caused when a man allegedly broke into her house before damaging cages and making off with a number of her budgies.
The thief is thought to have left through her living room window, but left it open during the escape, allowing more of the colourful birds to fly away.
Ms Ferguson, 57, said she now believed some of the birds may have been sold in local pubs in the Leith area, while a number of sightings have been reported by members of the public.
The accountant, who kept 34 of the birds before the theft, recalled she was hanging washing in the garden of her tenement block in Montgomery Street on Friday afternoon when she heard a crashing noise from inside the flat. She rushed back indoors to find the window wide open and a few of the cages damaged, with some of the budgies missing.
Ms Ferguson later discovered 11 of the birds were missing, although two have since been recovered. She admitted to being “very shaken” by the incident.
She told the Evening News: “My living room used to be noisy with all of the birds singing. It was beautiful, but now it is just silent.
“The birds have all been so depressed and traumatised by what has happened.”
Ms Ferguson continued: “The past few days have just been an absolute nightmare. I haven’t been eating or sleeping, I’ve been worrying constantly. I just want my birds back.”
Kind-hearted neighbours have since helped Ms Ferguson put up posters with images of the birds, encouraging locals who have seen them to get in touch.
The missing budgies reportedly include grey pied males with yellow heads and a yellow-and-blue crested male.
Ms Ferguson is worried about one small lavender female in particular that cannot fly due to injury.
She said: “People have been very helpful because it is an unusual thing to see while they are out and about. We had a few sightings in Montgomery Street Park and a few around the Hillside area.”
Ms Ferguson added: “But there are still eight missing, so I would implore anyone with any information to let myself or the police know.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said inquiries into the incident were ongoing. She said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating a report of theft after a property was broken into in Leith and pet budgies stolen.
“The incident happened at around 2.30pm on Friday, April 20 at an address in the Montgomery Street area.”
The spokeswoman continued: “Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Leith Police Station via 101, quoting incident number 2279 of April 20.”