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HEATH SPRINGS – Betty Bowers was raising her white Plymouth Rock chickens for a good cause.
The Bayspring Road resident donated the eggs from her chickens to the food pantry at her church, New Hope Baptist.
She also bakes a lot, and used the eggs in her own recipes.
On March 3, Bowers received 26 Plymouth Rock chicks, and invested at least $400 in the new brood. On Tuesday, Bowers found the first egg one of the new chickens had laid.
But by Wednesday, Bowers had only one chicken left. A stray pit bulldog and its puppy had gotten into the pen Tuesday and killed most of the chickens. The pit bull even buried some of her kill.
“There were chicken feet sticking up everywhere,” Bowers said Wednesday.
Bowers said she even found the dog still lying in the chicken pen on Tuesday.
“She wasn’t going to leave – she had found herself a feast,” Bowers said. “That dog was just a skeleton.”
Bowers said residents of the rural road have had problems with people dumping trash and even old couches and refrigerators there. It also seems a good place for some people to dump their unwanted pets, she said.
Bowers and her husband, Condor, had been trying to get Lancaster County Animal Control to do something about the dogs for the past week. She said she tried calling the Animal Control office but kept getting a busy signal.
Condor Bowers stopped by the office Monday and said five people were sitting inside. They told him if he caught the dog, they would come pick it up, but they couldn’t set traps for it because the traps would just get stolen.
“What’s the point of having Animal Control if they’re not going to do anything?” Bowers said.
Lancaster County Animal Control Director Joel Hinson said when Condor Bowers came into the animal shelter Monday, he was offered a trap but said he didn’t want his own dog to get caught in it.
Two officers went out to the Bowers’ home Tuesday after the dog had killed the chickens. The dog was captured, along with her puppy, and will be euthanized unless an owner shows up to claim them.
Hinson said two of the dog’s puppies were picked up on July 2, but Animal Control officers were unable to pick up the adult dog.
Animal Control officers have picked up 112 stray animals in July alone, and more animals were being signed into the animal shelter on Thursday morning, Hinson said.
He reminds residents that if a dog is threatening their livestock by barking, chasing or killing it, “you do have the right to destroy it.”
Betty and Condor Bowers are angry with Animal Control for what they feel was a slow response. But Betty Bowers said it points to a larger problem.
“Don’t throw your dogs out when you don’t want them anymore,” Bowers said. “At least take them to the animal shelter.”
Contact senior reporter Jenny Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 283-1151