surprise inspection

the simple life

11 Years
May 2, 2008
Weymouth, Massachusetts
I just finished making up a dish of treats for the chickens in my kitchen when I hear a knock on the door.
Its the animal control officer making his surpise inspection of my chickens and coop.
Of course my dogs start jumping all over him.
They don't do that to anyone else, but lets jump on the animal control officer.
Thank heavens he is a cool guy.
I had just let them out to free range and then came in to make them a dish of treats, so when he showed up they were running all over the yard. So he couldn't count them, and took my word for how many I said I had. Then I felt bad about not being totally honest so I said, well I was thinking of getting more, and that would bring me over the amount I am licensed for can I get permission for that?
So he says, look I don't give a s**t how many you have unless I get a complaint from the neighbors.
Ahh, relief.
He turns and says well I gotta go look at some goats up on thicket street.....goats, you can have goats in this town?!

edited because I can't type without typos.
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12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
western mass
That is such a nice story! So many of us are in the same position as you, wondering what would happen if "they" found out who's really running around out back . . .

well done! Now I want to push the bar even more and get li'l goats . . . .

Poulets De Cajun

11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
Houston MetroMess, Texas
Working in law enforcement, I can tell you that most ACO officers are animal lovers themselves. As long as you aren't starving an animal, and providing the necessities for them, they could usually care less how many you have, and what you do with them. The problems usually only occur when neighbors complain... at which point its time to get new neighbors!


Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
Nice to have a happy ending like that.

My neighbors arent the complaining kind, its the town busybodies that would do that,lol.
Dont you know EVERYTHING is their business?
Surprise inspection. Yikes.


12 Years
Aug 26, 2007
Longmont, CO
I would be so cranky if I had to have inspections.

I just want them to keep their noses out of my business and I'll be kind to my animals. I do live on land that's zoned residential ag., so I can only have 2 animal units on my 1 acre. Lucky for me 1 unit is 50 chickens or 5 pigs. So I have about 53 chickens and 4 pigs so I'm still ok.

the simple life

11 Years
May 2, 2008
Weymouth, Massachusetts
I know, I totally didn't expect him to show up on a Sunday morning, but I guess thats the point.
I had just cleaned the coops yesterday, put in fresh shavings, filled up the feeders and cleaned the waterers, so everything was honky dory.
I also literally had a bowl of treats for the chickens in my hand and was heading out back to give it to them so he could see that I was good to my girls.
Still though its a little unnerving to be scrutinized. He is a wicked nice guy, and I am lucky in that respect.
He warned me about an eagle that lives down by the back river, said he saw it grab a rabbit the other day.
I have seen hawks for a month, now I gotta worry about the eagle.
I am not sure how this works whether its for my state or my town, but I got a certificate that I passed inspection when he left and it said the state agricultural dept on the top.
But I know people in surrounding towns that have chickens who say they don't have to get permits or anything to keep them.
So if its a state thing, it would be all towns.
Unless only some towns bother to enforce it?
I would be afraid to keep any livestock in my town without permission, someone will always find out and then your screwed.
Before I got a permit I had to go around to every neighbor that abutts my property and get them to sign a paper granting me permission to keep chickens.
Then I had to go to town hall and ask the building dept for permission, when they signed off
I had to go to the animal control officer, he came out, inspected my property and then he signed off.
Then I had to go to the health dept with everyone's signatures and apply for the permit.
The permit was $5.00.
So it was a big pain to get the permit, but worth it to know that someone won't rat on me and have my chickens taken away.I didn't want to live with that kind of fear, it would take the enjoyment out of owning them for me.

He told me that someone in my town was keeping 4 llamas without any kind of permit.
A neighbor called to complain.
He went down there to check it out and the guy told him where to stick it and how to find it.
So he made him get rid of the llamas.
He said if the guy wasn't such an @#@$% he would have helped him get a permit for them, but he made him get rid of them for the way he acted.
Not worth the trouble for me.
So at least now I don't have to worry about it for another year.

Unless I get some goats...

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