No More Pet Chickens

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Some pet owners in part of Northumberland County are upset about an ordinance banning them from keeping certain animals as pets.

Commissioners in Coal Township passed an animal ordinance and said if people don't obey it they will be fined.

The ordinance passed in March bans people in Coal Township, near Shamokin, from keeping farm animals and wild animals as pets.

Barbara  Tanner owns pet chickens and does not want to give them up.

"Chickie" And "Red" may look like normal chickens you would find on a farm, but they are actually pets.  They belong to Tanner and live in a coop in her backyard near Shamokin.

"They are relaxing for me.  I sit here on the porch and watch them or walk out in the yard with them," Tanner said.

In one month, Tanner must find a new home for her pet chickens.  Coal Township commissioners recently passed an ordinance banning people from keeping farm or wild animals in residential areas.  Officials said people complained because some owners don't keep their pens clean.  Tanner believes those few rotten eggs ruined it for everyone.

"To me it's soothing and relaxing to watch them.  They're quiet.  They don't make noise," Tanner said.

Officials said about a dozen people in Coal Township own chickens, pigs or other wild animals.  Barbara Filarski lives a few houses away from a man who owns chickens.

"That doesn't bother me one bit.  As long as they take care of them, and maintain them and keep everything nice and clean that's fine with me," Filarski said.

Some folks in Coal Township said it's not people's pet chickens that bother them.  It's properties where they said wild animals move in.

"They have skunks going in and out and there are squirrels.  All kinds of animals," Filarski said.

"That's more of a concern then the poor little chickens that are in a coop.  Who cares about them?  They're little pets," added neighbor Sue Zarski.

Barbara Tanner hopes commissioners change their minds about the ordinance.  If not she must take her chickens to a farm by June 7.