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Woman Faces Lawsuit For Feeding Pigeons Outside Her NoHo Apartment

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- One woman's love of pigeons is a problem for others.

Now, she's forced to stop feeding the feathered friends she adores.

Margaret Lee is a NoHo resident of almost 40 years, an animal activist and a Christian, CBS2's Vanessa Murdock reports.

"I believe I've been given a mandate to look after my neighbors," she says.

Those neighbors are pigeons.

"I'm heartbroken to see how little they get in the city," she says.

Lee has made it her mission to look after them and feed them. She even carries shelled sunflower seeds everywhere she goes.

Recently, though, she started feeding her avian neighbors from her third floor balcony. Pigeon poop started hitting the sidewalks and sliding down store windows.

"Personally, I am not bothered by pigeon poop," she tells Murdock.

But others are. Someone posted a note on her door, reading "please stop feeding the birds."

"I feel like it does kind of capture the spirit of the anti-pigeon feeling," Lee says.

Then, there's the lawsuit filed on behalf of her landlord, whose lawyer told CBS2 Lee was asked nicely to stop back in May but persisted plumping up the pigeons. The landlord said it left just two choices: taking Lee to court to evict or take her to court to "cease feeding the birds."

The lawsuit claims a health hazard and that Oak can't keep its front door open, because a pigeon flew inside.

What do New Yorkers think?

"My gut says she should maybe stop," one man weighed in.

"I would definitely not like pigeon poop on the ground near where I live," a woman added.

"I understand her feeling, she has a good heart," a man said.

But he says take the seeds to the park, they attract rats.

A judge ordered Lee to halt handing out seeds Thursday, and she assures CBS2 she complied, but our camera caught several pigeons still sniffing around Friday afternoon.

"They're the true New Yorkers, they just persevere no matter what," Lee says.

A court date is set for September.

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