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Mom Fights To Keep Pet Chickens For Autistic Son

A Brownsburg resident says the chickens at her home are theraputic for her 10-year-old son, who has autism.

chickens

Photo: Andrew (Flickr)

Chickens cannot be kept in Brownsburg, according to the city's ordinance.

A Hendricks County mom is fighting her town to keep pet chickens for her 10-year-old son, who has autism.

Brownsburg resident Sherri Frushon says she‘s fighting an expensive battle after she says town officials told her she would have to remove her son‘s four chickens from their property because they are a violation of town ordinance.

Frushon says she has collected 32,000 signatures from all over the country in an effort to keep the pets, but now must collect additional signatures from neighbors.

“I have to go around to my neighbors and explain that I have an autistic child that resides in my home and he’s found comfort in having his chickens near him, explain the entire situation and then get their signatures,” Frushon says.

She adds that the chickens are registered as being therapeutic, along with their dog her son Anthony who takes care of them. She says the chickens are cordoned off in a quiet place in their yard and are not a neighborhood nuisance.

Meanwhile, Brownsburg Planning Director Todd Barker says he spoke with Frushon and has outlined the process involved in making the chickens legal, should the board of zoning appeal approve her filed petition.

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  • daox13

    horrible. I can understand a rooster, but all this over her having a few chickens is horrible.. In the city of Richmond you can have them, I think you can have them in that area too…

  • pattha990

    She can have them in Brownsburg, too if only she would follow the law and fill out the exemption form and pay the fee. But she doesn’t want to. . . so she has to resort to making it a public event.

  • daox13

    so you are telling me that she would go get 32,000 signatures but not fill out a form…

    “She adds that the chickens are registered as being therapeutic, along with their dog her son Anthony who takes care of them.”

    I think if they are registered then that should be enough, and I know there is a registration fee.

    I have a feeling this is the result of not having enough to do for the officials there.. there is no form needed to have chickens in Richmond va… Chickens die like crazy, no one would ever have chickens if you had to fill a form out each time….

  • pattha990

    It is true you don’t need one in Richmond but she lives in Brownsburg. Maybe she needs to live in Richmond then. When this case first came about it was because she didn’t know about the local law when she first purchased the chickens. It was a simple mistake to make. I am sure a lot of folks wouldn’t have know the requirement to get an exemption to have the chickens. But once she did know why didn’t she follow the law to get the exemption. It seems to me that it would be easier to pay $600.00 and petition a few neighbors to sign that they are okay with the chickens would be anywhere near as hard as generating all this media attention. The chickens maybe registered as emotional support animals but that does not equate to getting the same exemptions as registered psychiatric support dogs under the ADA. In order to get an exemption under the ADA she would have to get a psychiatrist to say it was medically necessary which also seems to me much easier than all this media attention she seems to be drumming up to not just follow the law. She would also not have to do the form every time a chicken dies. It is a one time form to get an exemption to a local law about not having farm animals within Brownsburg limits.

  • daox13

    $600??? are you kidding me? for a few chickens? I would be fighting too.

    That is outrageous. it was not a mistake to provide her autistic son with an outlet… it was the mistake of the county to make someone jump threw hoops in order to have a few chickens.

    Now, I do understand law is law and I understand it was in place before she got those chickens.. but If I were her i would fight this off the principle that $600 and neighbor petitions is an outrageous request to keep a few chickens.

    I could see $100, but to pay something comparable with the price to reserve a brand new Iphone 6 to keep a few chickens sounds more like a corrupt law then a helpful one.

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