JASPER — A mean rooster is lurking in the town of Jasper, according to complaints received by city officials. One of the complaints came from a woman who said the rooster attacked her in the street, said Mayor Jan Larson. The woman said she fell.
Don Ford. a Jasper resident attending the meeting, said he prevented an attack on a young boy by driving his car between the rooster and the boy so the boy could get away. What if the boy ran away from the rooster into the street and got hit by a car?
The owner of the rooster has been informed of the problem, but there is no city law on the books that can be enforced. Something has to be put down in writing, said council member Michael Thomas.
So, a good bit of time was spent during last Thursday night's city council meeting pondering what such a law should include.
The mayor, through the city's solicitor, obtained a model ordinance pertaining to fowl. But not all fowl are foul in town. In fact, the city is known for the free ranging guinea hens that many residents agree have redeeming value by controlling ticks and other insects. The town actually has guinea crossing signs posted along some busy streets for their protection and welfare.
Some residents raise chickens for fresh eggs, but roosters aren't needed for eggs, said council member Leslie Murphy, suggesting the city ban roosters.
The city has a leash law for dogs. Thomas said he can't see putting a rooster on a leash. It has to be penned.
But some residents, including city recorder Tiffany Davis, live in the outer edge of the city and her family allows its chickens to free range on the property. She said the chickens are free during the day and put up in a pen at night.
Thomas suggested that if a verified complaint against an individual rooster is made then that rooster should have to be penned.
Appropriate penalties also have to be addressed. Making them the same as those in the dog ordinance was suggested.
Larson said until a law is adopted, she is afraid complaints will persist.