Weatherford Democrat

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August 4, 2013

City plucks 158 chickens from residence

By BRIAN SMITH

Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter officials are dealing with a seizure of 158 chickens from a residence off of East Bankhead Drive Wednesday.

Director of Animal Services Dustin Deel said the seizure came after city code enforcement officials went out to the residence to investigate other alleged code issues. Officials noticed the chickens, which are banned within the city limits, received a seizure warrant and contacted the shelter.

The birds overall did not appear neglected or were living in unsanitary conditions, though Deel said some looked to be undernourished.

Deel said it took every city animal control officer, with some assistance from county animal control officers, to gather all the chickens, who were in the backyard of what was described as “a good size residence.” Deel said charges in the case had not yet been filed as of Friday as attorneys decide how to proceed.

Shelter officials needed a whole day Thursday to turn a horse stall at the front of the shelter campus into a large “coop” to hold individual coops. The shelter is handling the chickens temporarily, depending on whether or not they are given full custody of them. Deel said Tractor Supple Company donated chicken feed as well as equipment to build the coop, but the situation is by no means permanent.

“If we are granted custody, we’re going to need to find a more permanent solution,” Deel said. “It’s definitely a ‘fowl’ situation right now.”

Anyone willing to donate chicken feed for the shelter can bring it by the location at 409 Hickory Dr. in Weatherford anytime during normal business hours.

Deel said the case is ongoing and officials will later decide what further actions to take.

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