|Winter 1997/98 Poultry Press|
Nellie and Ellie are two happy Rhode Island Red hens. Thomas and Sabine Buehler of Holmes Beach, Florida gave Nellie and Ellie a home two years ago after a neighbor left them behind. Suddenly last summer, anonymous complaints arose from a city ordinance that prohibits residents from "raising fowl and farm-type animals." But the mayor visited the Buehler home, met Nellie and Ellie, and concluded they were pets and could stay.
Then, however, political furor broke out. The city commission chairman said Nellie and Ellie must go. He accepted the city attorney's suggested definition of "pet" to exclude "fowl," and asked the mayor to enforce it. Ominously, a newspaper article announced in October, "Chickens out, new definition of pet in."
But Sabine Buehler said No. She fought to keep Nellie and Ellie. She hired a lawyer, got public and news-media support, and at the hearing on November 14th, she won!
UPC president Karen Davis was happy to write a letter to the Holmes Beach Code Enforcement Board on behalf of Sabine Buehler, Nellie and Ellie. She said that with so many millions of homeless and unwanted animals in the world, why wreck an intact household in which two nice hens have found a permanent home. Happy New Year, Nellie and Ellie!