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Councils versus Chicken Owners in West Virginia

chiwarsEmilee Ryan’s chicken saga made front page news in her home town.

“I don’t want to get rid of my pets,” she said. “Everyone with a pet understands they’re part of the family. I know it sounds absurd to get that attached to a chicken. But what can I say? They’re my babies.”

By Brad McElhinny
Metro News West Virginia
November 25, 2016 at


Emilee, 18, found herself called before her town council earlier this fall.

“The town is trying to take them away from me. It hurts that the town is trying to take away my pets,” Emilee said as the news hit the local Mineral Daily News Tribune. “I want to love them. They’re my babies.”

But she had broken the law in Ridgeley, a town of about 675 people — specifically, Ordinance No. 530 “Animals and Fowl Generally,” and its subsection “530-1. Keeping Livestock.”

“I feel for you Emilee,” said mayor Lynn Carr, adding that everyone who has a pet understands.

Emilee sought a variance and also found new homes for all of her chickens but six: Nugget, Baboo, Matilda, Peanut and two with a shared designation, the Golden Girls. Those she has kept.

Read the complete article here.