BURLEY, ID — A woman was indicted last week for illegally keeping chickens within Burley city limits.
Colleen C. McCall, 65, a mother of four and grandmother of 14 was indicted on June 4 for keeping restricted animals within city limits. On May 14, an animal control representative noticed two chickens, a one-eyed white silky and Rhode Island red, on her land. He told McCall to get rid of the birds because they violated a city ordinance prohibiting chickens older than four weeks within the city.
McCall challenged the ordinance, saying the land was grandfathered into the city limits and she had been raising chickens on her land since 1977. She added that the one chicken was "on its last leg" and the other was a pet she had nursed after it was attacked by a dog and lost an eye.
She said that she considers it a sad day when you can't have a pet chicken inside the city limits of Burley.
"She said that she considers it a sad day when you can't have a pet chicken inside the city limits of Burley," wrote her husband, Gary McCall. "We moved back to Burley because it was a rural community with rural values."
Upon a city representative's return to McCall's home, he found the white silky chicken, named Fluffy, still in the pen. The Rhode Island red had died before. She was charged June 4.
"She added when the police officer delivered the summons several of her grandchildren were there and they wondered why a police officer was coming for Grandma," Gary McCall said. "She said, ‘I guess I am just lucky they didn't cuff me and cart me off to jail.' She said she has raised her children and encouraged her grandchildren to obey the law and has never used civil disobedience as a recourse against government but she said she is old enough to know that even government sometimes gets off the track."
Burley recently began considering an ordinance that would allow chickens within the city limits, which McCall had been following. It was, however, "scuttled by Jon Craner of the council," McCall said.
"She said she has known John Craner for many years and considers him to be a fine person but ill advised when it comes to the attitude of Burley citizens towards chickens within the city," they wrote.
She has an arraignment hearing June 24.