Maryland police say that a man managed to kill 70,000 chickens in one drunken night, and now he’s facing charges for it.
Joshua D. Shelton, 21, is accused of drinking so heavily at a Delmar farm that he couldn’t tell the difference between a light switch and the circuit breakers connected to three chicken houses.
Shelton allegedly cut the breakers on Friday night, and deprived the chickens of food, water and cooling fans.
“Without power, the chickens will begin to die within 15 minutes,” according to charging documents.
Farmer Mark Shockley found all but 100 chickens dead the next morning.
Shelton was found lying in the houses’ power control shed, wearing only a T-shirt and boxers and smelling of alcohol, cops told the Associated Press.
He had reportedly been at the home for a small party that Shockley’s daughter was holding, and passed out in the control room.
The chickens were worth about $20,000, though cleanup costs will add to the damages.
Shelton was charged with burglary, malicious destruction of property and trespassing.
Two brothers have been fined for a “foolish prank” in which they took a brood of live hens on a stag do.
Craig Barnett, 23, and his 21-year-old brother Bradley kept six chickens in boxes in the back of a car for around five-and-a-half hours last July, while they and their friends went to watch greyhound racing at Poole Stadium.
They then released them into a hotel bathroom, where they were intended to be a “surprise for the stag,” prosecutor Matthew Knight said.
He said the chickens were left in the bathroom for a further six hours before a member of the stag party, clad in his boxer shorts, took them down to the lobby of the Lynden Court Hotel at around 3.30am.
A member of hotel staff then ushered the chickens outside. Bournemouth Magistrates Court heard that one was taken by a fox, one was found dead the next morning, two were never found and two were rescued and rehomed.
Craig, of Long Burton in Sherborne, and Bradley, of Rudwick in Horsham, both pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to take reasonable steps to provide four chickens with a suitable environment.
Craig, who works for a communications company, was fined £315, while university student Bradley was fined £125. Both were also ordered to pay £375 each in costs.
Their solicitor, Nigel Ley, said both brothers had grown up working on farms and had a good track record with animals but were guilty of a “moment of madness.”
“My clients now realise what a stupid thing it was to do,” he said.
“It was done in a moment of absolute stupidity, they just didn’t think it through. This was a one-off incident that will never occur again.”
The brothers had claimed the chickens were intended to be a present for their mother and had denied they were carrying out a prank.
But presiding magistrate Francis Vine said: “We believe that the incident started out as a foolish prank which went wrong and that you are now fully aware of the consequences of this type of behaviour and your actions.”
Following the hearing, RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond said: “Using animals of any sort for a prank or entertainment is socially and legally unacceptable. Even if they didn’t give it much thought beforehand, they really should have done. We all want stag and hen parties to have a fantastic time when they come to Bournemouth but that entertainment should be purely within the party, it shouldn’t affect animals or other people.”
Often we point fingers at the often ridiculous justice meted out in the UK, but this idiocy comes courtesy of the US!
29-year-old Joy C. McDonald from Missouri cries each time she pauses to think about what her future might hold. She could lose her job, her small rented home and custody of her three children.
Because her two little dogs supposedly scared a neighbour’s elderly chicken to death.
According to McDonald, the penned bird apparently suffered a heart attack when her two Chihuahuas barked at it while running loose in their rural Lafayette County neighbourhood.
Actually, court records accuse the dogs of killing the chicken but don’t describe how. The bird’s owner refused to recount his version of events.
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office released only the department’s incident log, which confirms deputies were called to investigate on April 5.
And the county prosecutor is saying little because the case remains unsettled. “There are photos with a poor dead chicken and feathers everywhere,” said Lafayette County Prosecutor Kellie Wingate Campbell.
The 29-year-old McDonald faces a misdemeanor charge of animal abuse for not controlling her Chihuahuas — Peaches and Domino — that together weigh about 5 pounds, or about as much as the average chicken sold for slaughter in Missouri last year.
If convicted, McDonald could be sent to the county jail for a year or be fined as much as $1,000, or face both penalties.
“I think this is asinine,” said McDonald, who lives just east of Odessa. “I just can’t wrap my mind around it. All of this because of a dead chicken.”
Read the full story (with news video) HERE
Harvey Aragon Jr. from Albuquerque is facing charges after police said that he stole chickens from Montessori school children.
Aragon was arrested this week and was found hiding in a downtown Albuquerque apartment closet with smudges of chicken manure on his jeans.
Police also said they found three chickens in the backseat of his Buick Skylark. Next door was the chicken coop belonging to Escuela Del Sol Montessori School.
The arrest came after a school caretaker called police about a possible break-in early Thursday morning.
School director Friedge van Gil said the chickens were used to educate students about chicken care.
Aragon was charged with commercial burglary and possession of stolen property over $500.
It was unclear if he had hired an attorney.
A judge in Florida has reduced a family’s $200,000 fine for keeping hens in the backyard to $100.
Broward Circuit Judge Michele Towbin Singer reduced the fine, which began as a $100 fine and accumulated with $250 daily fines, to the original $100 Dec. 6 due to a Hollywood city ordinance stating the fine for keeping poultry in the city cannot exceed $100.
The Kohn family had argued the 17 chickens were “small domestic” pets allowable under the law, but the city said there are no exceptions to its no-poultry rule.
“It doesn’t matter if you would like to have them as pets, they’re still poultry and the code doesn’t allow the keeping of poultry in a single-family residence that is not in an agricultural zone,” city spokeswoman Raelin Storey said.
Steve Kohn said he got rid of the chickens in August to comply with a court order.
Kohn, an orthodox Jew with Moroccan and Syrian heritage, said he believes the city targeted him because of his Middle Eastern ancestry.
“This has nothing at all to do with chickens,” Kohn said. “They don’t want me and my kind here.”