A recent Itchmo article told the story of a town that forced a family to give up its pet chickens despite pleas from the family claiming that the birds were pets and not farm animals. But in Easthampton, Mass., town officials saw it differently when 10-year-old Sylvan Lorenz defended her pets at a recent zoning board meeting.
Sylvan and her brother have been rearing the chickens since they were a day old, but neighbors who had previously been denied the right to raise chickens on their property complained to the zoning enforcement officer. The Lorenz family was ordered to get rid of their hens, but Sylvan was able to convince the board that the birds were pets, not “poultry”.
The board came to the conclusion that the bylaw regarding farm animals was ambiguous in its definitions. Board member Dave Gardner pointed out that many dogs live on farms, but they are not defined as farm animals. His opinion was that a chicken could be a pet, and the rest of the board agreed, voting 5-0 to allow the Lorenz hens to remain with the family, but limited the number of chickens allowed to four.
Sylvan was pleased with the outcome of the hearing and said that she’d learned a lot about the zoning board.
Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette