Wrens are native to the southeastern United States, but the white house down in the heart of D.C. has been in the care of the city’s Animal Care and Control Department for more than 20 years.
This is the first time the animals have been euthanized at the house, which sits on the northwest corner of Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Pennsylvania Avenue SW.
The animals have suffered from various ailments, including respiratory problems, diarrhea, pneumonia, food poisoning and a history of being left outside, according to Animal Care Director David D. O’Connell.
The Department of Agriculture euthanizes about 10 to 12 animals a year, he said.
“They’re doing everything possible to keep the house in good health, but sometimes there are challenges.”
The first animal to be euthanased was a male wren named James, a four-year-old who was suffering from respiratory problems and was being kept in a separate room for more work than was needed.
James’ death was the department’s first in more than three years.
The department was notified earlier this month that James had died, O’Connors said.
The House wreath was put up in honor of James on Feb. 28, and the animals were taken to the animal shelter to be cared for.
“It was quite emotional,” O’Donnell said.
On the porch, a white house wreath and the White house Down signs were on display.
On Saturday, March 3, O`Connell held a service for James in honor, and he said the wreath had become a symbol of James’ spirit and of the House of Commons.
A memorial was held in his honor on the porch Saturday, along with signs saying James loved his home, O.C., and was very close to his owners.
O`Connor said James’ owners are not sure how much longer they can keep James.
They have given him food and water and a place to sleep, and they plan to leave him at the shelter on Monday, March 5.
But that will be a difficult decision, O�Connell said.
O�Connor said they hope to keep James around for a while and give him a home for the rest of his life.
The house wreaths were installed in honor to commemorate the centennial of James O’Connor’s birth in July 1891, and are meant to commemorate James’ time in the House, O”Connell said in a news release.
The White House Down is a sign that is installed along Pennsylvania Avenue, across the street from the White Houses.
It was installed to commemorate President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s birthday in 1935.
The sign was created to symbolize Roosevelt’s visit to the House in 1921, and it also commemorated the centenary of the founding of the White houses, OCC spokesman Scott Wilson said.
He said the Whitehouse Down was installed after a request from the U.S. Capitol Police to honor FDR and to honor Roosevelt’s life in Congress.
The Capitol Police also asked the Whitehouses to add the House wreathes to the memorial, Wilson said, and to keep both signs up.
He added that the Whitehous House Down will remain in place until a permanent replacement can be found.
D.C.’s Animal Care Department euthanize about 10-12 animals a day, Wilson added.
“We have not had an animal euthanizing on our property in over 20 years,” he said, noting that the department does not euthanise animals outside of its facilities, though the department has euthanIZED animals at other locations around the city.
The Wren Association of Washington, a nonprofit that advocates for wrens, said in an email that the Wren Protection Act of 1978, which established the humane-humane-research and care standards that govern how animal care is conducted, is intended to protect the welfare of wren owners and to prevent needless suffering of wrengers.
“This law also establishes an animal welfare standard that has the effect of encouraging animal shelters to treat animals humanely and humanely humanely,” the group said.