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PETA Calls for Prosecution of Firefighter, Cop in Reported Killing of Pet Chicken

Source: PETA Media Center
Date: April 14, 2010
Byline: For Immediate Release

Abuse Apparently Violates State's Cruelty Statute, Says Group

Contact: Michael Lyubinsky 757-622-7382

Norristown, Pa. — This morning, PETA sent a letter to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman urging her to immediately investigate and file all warranted charges in relation to an incident that took place on or around March 29 in which a police officer and a firefighter were reportedly involved in killing a resident's pet chicken in Lower Merion Township.

According to news reports, the chicken, Connie, escaped from the yard of her guardian, Lauren Steltzer. Steltzer then posted fliers in the neighborhood and on her Facebook page about the missing animal. A neighbor who spotted Connie and became concerned for the bird's safety telephoned the Lower Merion police. The officer who took the call--who has not been publicly identified--reportedly contacted a local firefighter (also not identified) whom the officer knew to be a hunter. The firefighter then allegedly shot Connie with an arrow and killed her.

"Connie was a gentle and loving companion whose life ended in pain because of a cruel--and apparently illegal--act of violence," says PETA Foundation litigation counsel Kay Duffy. "Cruelty to animals is always troubling and never justified. When the alleged perpetrators are the very people who are charged with upholding the law and serving the community, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

PETA is asking Ferman to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute the firefighter under Pennsylvania's cruelty-to-animals statute and bring charges against the police officer for aiding and abetting the commission of a crime. The Pennsylvania cruelty-to-animals statute states that "(1) A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he willfully and maliciously: (i) Kills, maims or disfigures any domestic fowl of another person." The firefighter also may have violated two of the state's hunting laws: 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2505(a), which prohibits the firing of an arrow within 50 yards of any occupied dwelling, and 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2507, which prohibits shooting at any "mark" or "target" other than the animals on whom it is open hunting season.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.