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by Abigail Van Buren

Certain Death, Not Freedom, Follows the Wings of a Dove

DEAR ABBY: The wedding season is fast approaching, and every year, starry-eyed brides plan to release white doves to "freedom" as part of their wedding celebration.

Abby, when white doves, born and raised in captivity with no clue how to live on their own, are released to "freedom," they face certain death! Have you ever seen white doves flying about, nesting in the wild? No. That's because they cannot survive on their own.

Please spread the word that this awful practice needs to stop. A little education would go a long way. -- SOMEONE WHO CARES, ORANGEVALE, CALIF.

DEAR SOMEONE: Thank you for the heads-up. I discussed your comments with a docent at a local zoo, who explained that not only do doves raised in captivity know nothing about predators, being released into an unknown area disorients the poor creatures. In order to survive, they would have to join with another flock -- and spreading their wings brings no guarantee they will be accepted.