Columbia Shelter Reacts to Urban Chicken Proposal
The Central Missouri Humane Society is alarmed by a proposal to allow urban chickens in Columbia. It anticipates trouble caring for and finding homes for the chickens that would end up in the shelter:
Shelter Relations Coordinator Allison Toth said a chicken was brought in during the summer. The staff named it Tyson, after the food manufacturing company.[…] It was a small inconvenience until Tyson was finally adopted by board member Ann Korschgen, who owns a farm.
But staff cannot rely on such acts on a regular basis.
The argument that no one should be permitted to keep chickens because a few of them will probably be abandoned is unpersuasive. By that reasoning, the city should ban cats and dogs, too, because some owners leave them at shelters. And, although it’s inconvenient for a shelter to build new coops, the city’s animal population changes over time and shelters need to evolve.
The shelter’s contract for 2010 excludes chickens, and the city is thinking of other ways to deal with abandoned chickens this year — perhaps paying a farmer to take care of them. That means the shelter would have a whole year to prepare for the chickens’ arrival.
And I don’t buy the argument that no one will adopt chickens. When urban chickens are illegal, the shelter has to wait for someone from a farm to take a stray chicken. But if city residents could keep chickens, there would be many more potential chicken owners. Finding homes for abandoned chickens would be easier.