Town Says Teen Can't Keep Pet Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TucsonFrizzled, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. TucsonFrizzled

    TucsonFrizzled In the Brooder

    Below is an article about pet chickens that made the national news.

    I was the only caller to the office of the zoning officer Mr Stitt. Please call and help the cause. If he learns that chickens are pet quality animals and not just farm animals, it will help us all.

    The North Huntingdon Township number is
    724) 863-3806
    0 for the operator and ask for Mr Stitt

    Town Says Teen Can't Keep Pet Rooster
    Updated 8:22 PM ET September 22, 2007

    IRWIN, Pa. (AP) - Melissa Hensler got a "Most Unusual Pet" prize from her township two years ago for her pet rooster _ but now the same township says the bird is a farm animal in a residential area and it's got to go.

    The parents of the 13-year-old girl say they may file a lawsuit against the zoning decision by North Huntingdon Township officials.

    Melissa has raised the rooster, named Sundae, and eight other chickens for six years. But in July, say parents Barb and Don Hensler, a neighbor complained that they were raising chickens, and the township's attitude changed.

    The prize that Sundae won two years ago "is no substitute for township law," code enforcement officer David Stitt said.

    "Chickens are farm animals. You can call them pets if you like, but they are still fowl," Stitt said.

    A township board rejected the Henslers' request for a zoning exception, leading to their consideration of court action.

    "I've already spent $250 for the first appeal. These chickens are not worth that much _ maybe $1.75 or $2 _ if you sold them," Don Hensler said. "We were just asking the township to allow us to keep our pets until they pass on."

    Hensler said chickens typically live eight to 10 years.

    "If I had to get rid of them, it would be like losing part of me," Melissa said. "I would be losing my children."

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Thanx Ya'll ~ [​IMG]

    Wendy Cooper [​IMG]
  2. Carole AM

    Carole AM Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Goshen, Indiana
    I saw that in our newspaper. What a shame! Someone should tell them (the mayor) to check out BYC! ALOT of us have chickens as pets.
  3. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Neither would we have snakes, reptiles as pets and ferrets and pgymy hedgehogs too! Even some ordinances says NO rabbits or exotic pets but we still have rabbits, guinea pigs, parrots, snakes, rats etc etc.

    I would say if someone got a chicken as a pet, it is definately a pet .... it is NO different than a parrot except for the feed part.
  4. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    my chickens are pets. i have the vet bill to prove it! lol. i am going to city council today to get the law changed - but it will take 3 years!!!!
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I'll give them a shout tomorrow.
  6. TucsonFrizzled

    TucsonFrizzled In the Brooder

    Greetings All ~ [​IMG]

    I called and left my message of explanation of chickens as pets. I think if we can rally the enlightened ones of us (by this I mean those of us on this and similiar boards), we could help this family.

    This would help all of us who will be fighting this same battle to share our lives with our gentle, productive pets.

    This is about the individuals right to choose a pet based on intellegence, personality, combined with the benefit of eggs. The ethics of preferring a domestic bird over the exotic bird that is meant to live in the wild is an important point also.

    My Fancie (the Silkie) is currently under scrutiny by Delta Society to be a Pet Partner. She is passing every test with flying colors (so to speak). The sweet thing sits nicely on a strangers lap, talks and listens, and is generally charming to the evaluators. Her behavior is predictable and reliable and she is the perfect bird for the organizations activities.

    This might help when the authorities come knocking at my door in an attempt to evict my precious hen.

    I am studying to eventually become a therapist that uses animals to help clients. My choice is Silkies, Greyhounds, and Personal Ponies.

    Fight On ~ [​IMG]

    Wendy and Fancie
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  7. Wendy,

    By Pet Partner, do you mean like a therapy animal? i have been considering trying to train my EE Penny as a therapy animal, as she is so curious and gentle. But i can see where a silkie would probably be a very good choice. i have a dozen little silkies now, and there are a couple of the girls that are so sweet and gentle.

    My husband teaches acting classes to autistic children, and we have been discussing taking Penny into class to help the students open up. Who would not light up at the sight of seeing a chicken walk in? i would want to make sure she has a clear medical record, everything was okay with the parents, and then some type of evaluation by experts in the pet therapy field would probably be warranted. Wouldn't want some poor autistic child getting her eye pecked out!

    There is a huge difference between people who raise chickens in a production setting, and then most of us who love them like pets. Really, how different is a chicken from a large parrot, impact-wise on a household or neighborhood. Heck, my neighbors son screams louder than any rooster ever could.

    Anyhow, i will call tomorrow and add my two cents to the fight.

  8. TucsonFrizzled

    TucsonFrizzled In the Brooder

    Howdy Colleen ~ [​IMG]

    Yep, Pet Partners is the level I can achieve now with Fancie. She has had her pre-evaluation and is just waiting to take her test.

    We will then be endorsed by Delta Society and covered by their insurance for accidents up to a million dollars liability. Delta is a reputable organization that is officially recognized. The test consisted of her sitting on three strangers laps and how calm she is to be visiting. She was shown a shiney bracelet, and (Thankfully) did not peck at it. My other girls would have, and would have tried to eat any freckle, or fingernail they found!

    As I progress, Fancie will be able to become a therapy animal. Currently, we will be able to contribute through Animal Assited Activities, which means we can go on official visits to organizations and Fancie can be pet, or fed, or held. Some dogs and miniature ponies that do this perform tricks or allow themselves to be groomed by the clients.

    When we become certified for Animal Assisted Therapy, then we will work with someone from the organization we are visiting and they will chart what the client is doing and guide us in what areas the client will be best served. For instance, autistic children sometimes really respond to ponies and being able to groom them, talk to them, or to feed them treats is a way to bring them out.

    Taking your chicken in to visit a class is a lot of fun. Fancie and I have visited a pre K class. Later, I heard about the child that started to draw chickens, she had not felt comfortable drawing anything before that day.

    I have found that anywhere we go, we are ambassadors for Chickens as Pets. We are a show stopper, people will gather around us and ask questions, pet Fancie, and marvel at her. Even when we go to the top of a local mountain to escape the summer heat, we gave a short class to the visitors there.

    It helps that Fancie would rather be with me and prefers indoors to out. She has no interest in playing in the dirt and if I don't pick her up she will sit on my feet when we are in the park. So even though for the look of it I may have a light leash attached to her diapers, there is no real need for it.

    Colleen, let me know what happens when you take your hen up to the class. We had a great time. Take lots of pictures.

    Thanx for asking [​IMG]
    Wendy and Fancie

  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I was going to do that too, but I couldn't with Slifer, she was just too unpredictable...
    I'm thinking of trying now that I have Penny too.

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