HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - A family with a terminally ill loved one in Hinesville has gotten several complaints from neighbors about chickens in their yard.
The complaints have led to an ongoing investigation.
This story gets kind of tricky because people are allowed to have animals in the City of Hinesville as long as they aren’t a nuisance.
Eleven-year-old Marion Shirah is living with a disease that attacks her nervous system. She doesn’t know how much life she has left to live, and the chickens keep her at peace.
Several complaints were made in September of last year about the chickens and roosters in the Shirah family’s yard. Now, the birds’ fate lies in the hands of Hinesville city leaders.
“According to city ordinance, you can have animals or fowl as long as they don’t create an unsanitary condition or any undue nuisances to neighbors or any sort of disturbance to the peace of the city,” said Whitney Morris-Reed, Hinesville Police Department.
Hinesville Police say they had to respond to the home once they received complaints, but Marion says her chickens help her cope with her disease. She even has names for all of them.
While this isn’t a type of therapy people would normally see, Marion says the chickens make her happy, and her dad says they keep her upbeat, especially with her body failing as she lives each day.
“Right now, there is no treatment. There is no cure for it, and all we can do is kinda work with the symptoms and try to slow things down as best we can by maintaining her muscle strength,” Marion’s father, Alexander Shirah, said.
He says the uncertainty is scary and they are afraid that if the chickens are taken away, their little girl won’t have her sense of peace, happiness or physical therapy.
“The chickens are a part of a physical therapy and a part of a care, and I want the city to realize just how important it is to maintain it."
Marion’s dying wish is to just keep her chickens.
She says no matter what happens, she wants people to remember this...
“I want to say to everybody in the world that is going through something bad, to think of the good things that come out of the bad things.”
Hinesville Police say while this is an unfortunate situation, it is the duty of the city to respond to complaints and enforce the law in a way that protects all citizens. The case is now in the hands of HInesville’s legal counsel.