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Hens may hold sway over dogs

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If you own dogs, their life may be in danger if the county’s hen ordinance is approved by the planning commission. Under the guise of “urban farming,” the county is creating an ordinance that introduces three (or more) hens into residential single-family (RS) and residential multifamily (RM) zones. The problem arises when staff ignores state law giving poultry owners or animal control authority to seize or kill your dog if he’s found worrying, pursuing … poultry or recently killing or wounding poultry. Your dog may also be seized or killed if he enters any enclosed or uninclosed property with poultry (Food & Ag 31102-31103). Putting poultry in new zones means these laws will now affect you. Yet county staff forges ahead with this scrambled egg idea. This hen ordinance changes faster than the color of a chameleon — each time in favor of the hen keeper without consideration for household pets or individuals that don’t want farming in their single-family neighborhood or condo. The unintended consequences of this ordinance have life-threatening effects for dogs and creates neighbor conflicts. Incompatible land uses need to be mitigated by all stakeholders. Dog owners in these zones: unite — write or call your supervisor. You must speak on Rover’s behalf. Rosemary Frieborn, R.V.T., humane officer, Humane Society of the Sierra Foothills