College Township approves backyard chicken ordinance; a win for 10-year-old chicken owner

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — This past summer, 10-year-old a College Township resident, Maeve Elliot, and her family were at risk of thousands of dollars in fines for keeping pet chickens in their backyard. Last night, they spoke before council in support of a new ordinance for chicken owners.

“Chickens may not seem like much, but they mean a lot to me,” said Maeve. “They are not just food; they are my family.”

Maeve Elliott’s Full Statement to the College Township Council

The College Township Council says they have seen more engagement on the proposed chicken ordinance than any other matter.

There were no spoken statements against the chickens or the ordinance during the public meeting. Only one written statement out of 18 opposed the ordinance, according to the Elliott family.

Ultimately, the ordinance passed unanimously and Maeve says her family celebrated with a dance party. Her hens Waffles, Banana, El, and Purple were included in the party.

While the Elliotts no longer live in College Township due to concerns that they wouldn’t be able to keep the chickens without fines, Maeve continued with her fight.

“I felt like it wasn’t just all about keeping my chickens, I think it was also about other people being able to have chickens and having the right to have chickens,” said Maeve.

It was a lesson in civic engagement for Maeve, who says the biggest lesson she learned is to never give up and keep fighting for what you believe in.

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