A BIRD rescue charity has stepped in to save doves who have been left “traumatised” after their dovecote was blocked off by The Captain’s Wife pub in Sully.

The pub sparked public outrage when they blocked holes in a dovecote due to “health and safety concerns” – but later backed down after public protest.

The move, which trapped a flock of doves outside for several days and potentially blocked in young birds, had been described by residents as an "appalling case of animal cruelty”.

Now, Caerphilly Bird Rescue (CBR) charity say they will safely remove the doves after the new year and take them to the charity’s new home, which is yet to be revealed.

The dovecote, however, will stay on the pub’s grounds.

“We will have to wait at least six weeks, because they are traumatised and won’t come out of the trees,” said Carol Gravenor who runs CBR with her husband Ray Gravenor.

“They are scared to go back into the dovecote.”

The charity will drop a net over the dovecote during darkness as the birds are “calmer at night”, she explained.

They will then remove them from the dovecote and safely transport them to an aviary.

“This will break their homing instincts and will take about eight weeks.

“We will then remove the aviary and put them in a new dovecote.

“I just can’t understand why they did this in the first place, it was a callous act,” she said.

Local resident Sue Thomas said she couldn’t “understand why they didn’t involve the charity before they blocked off the dovecote”.

“I was so shocked.”

Her business, Absolutely Fabulous Vegan, will be holding a raffle at an upcoming event and all proceeds will be donated to CBR.

A spokesperson for The Captain’s Wife said: “We’re pleased to be working with Caerphilly Bird Rescue to help with the rehoming of the birds, which we have both agreed is the best possible outcome.

“We will continue to work closely with Caerphilly Bird Rescue throughout the process of rehoming the birds, with progress to begin early in the new year once a suitable plan has been agreed.

“On reopening the dovecote we are increasing the number of cleaning visits by our hygiene experts to monitor the situation.”