Please Ask City of Jay, Ok to grandfather animals affected by ORDINANCE 304
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In March 2017, the city of Jay, Oklahoma, an agriculturally rich rural town, created ordinance 304 that makes it a misdemeanor to own any agricultural animals in the city limits in areas that are not zoned agricultural. This includes backyard poultry. Previously all but swine and any kind of donkey or mule was allowed. The city sent out warning letters to every citizen owning such animals with warnings and steep fines to be incurred if animals were not removed by certain deadlines. The citizens of Jay are some of the poorest in Oklahoma, and cannot afford to pay these fines if they are having a difficult time finding adopters or alternative arrangements to house them.
The city's stance was that they want to beautify the city and improve quality of life for all. We the undersigned understand this, and are not opposed to efforts to do so, but the problem this particular ordinance creates is that there are several properties zoned agricultural within and around the city, so farm animals will always be in town. One yard may have to get rid of animals, while an adjacent property won't simply due to zoning! That's why this ordinance is problematic. There are no clear lines of demarcation indicating what is or isn't zoned what. There are bigger problems the city needs to address that citizens want done!
Since nearly all animals in the city of Jay affected by the ordinance existed prior to its enactment, we the undersigned respectfully ask that they be protected by a grandfather clause, and that all animals removed because of this ordinance be allowed to return home under grandfathering rules, without penalty and harassment from city employees and its officers.
ETA: as for my birds personally, they are PETS to me. I have lived in Jay for the past 27 years, and up until this year, chickens have been legal.
I have health issues. I have very mild seizures, social anxiety, and physical problems. Tending to these birds (a turkey, around 35 chickens ranging in size from serama on up, a dozen ducks, a goose, and three guineas. Due to space in the "foster home", I made the heartbreaking decision to give away seven of my ducks, my goose, and two roosters. Three chickens (a silkie rooster, and three silkie hens) passed away from stress related causes, our oldest hen, age 6 1/2, (black one pictured in petition photo) somehow injured her leg and limps badly, and a 6 1/2 year old barred rock appears to have been bitten by something and her whole left side of her face is badly swollen. So this situation has made it more difficult to do proper vet care, but I do my best. The two older girls are on the mend. But they need to be home. Everyone else seems to be doing well as expected. They are in a smaller building than they had at home, so they have done a lot of pecking order rearranging. I miss them greatly and my nightly routine of sitting in a lawn chair and watching them do their thing. It has been so therapeutic. Sometimes when I could not sleep I would go visit and listen to their soothing sounds. So this is why I personally need them. There are dozens of families in Jay who have them for varying reasons. Mine were no trouble. They were kept penned and in a run. If this decision was made because of ones at large, it should have been handled with those people.
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