Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Backyard Chickens: Unfortunate Pawns in Neighborhood Chess

We had a CLUCK meeting tonight with a good turnout, but a sobering, somber assessment. As we went around the room listening to people's chicken stories far too many sounded something like: 

We had a few chickens illegally in the County, but they weren't bothering anyone and all the neighbors were okay with them until we had an issue with one neighbor and in suspiciously coincidental, apparent retaliation, county code enforcement showed up and we had to give up the chickens or pay a really steep fine, which was really hard on the kids, who still want to know where their pets are. 

Chicken chess pieces from
Its one thing to make a neighbor move a fence, or relocate a boat, or mow their lawn more frequently, but something entirely different to make living pet animals into pawns, easily knocked off the chessboard in games neighbors play. 

This has to stop. Neighbors will always have differences and some people will always try to get the government to do their dirty work instead of solving problems neighbor-to-neighbor. We won't stop people from turning their neighbors in for alleged violations. But isn't it some form of animal abuse to use pets as surrogates for other issues?

Let's work to take chickens off the neighborhood chess board.


Deborah Lee said...

I can certainly understand the grief in losing a pet - how ever that happens. But if the parents are doing something illegal, aren't they teaching their children that it's okay to disregard the law. Actions speak louder than words, and our children learn by watching what we do more than by what we say.

Cluckers said...

Good point. Of course, some parents probably thought chickens were allowed, but we want kids to know the rules as well. Other parents probably assumed neighbors are good-natured and tolerant, but that would give kids an unrealistic view of the real world.

People assume a risk when they break the law and lives (chickens) are at stake. Point taken.