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Parkton family faces thousands in fines for complaint over rooster's crowing

Parkton family faces thousands in fines for complaint over rooster's crowing
Parkton family faces thousands in fines for complaint over rooster's crowing 01:47

PARKTON -- A Baltimore County family is fighting thousands of dollars in fines caused by a neighbor's complaint against their rooster's crowing.

But, as word has spread about it, the family has been getting support from all over.

Jackie and Drew Tanenbaum didn't think they'd ever have a chicken coop until they moved to Parkton. They got a rooster, who they've named Wilbur, and eight hens in August.

"You hear a lot of things about roosters, stereotypes and the like, but Wilbur is just super friendly," said Drew. Jackie also described the rooster as very watchful and protective.

While the Tanenbaums love Wilbur, one of their neighbors doesn't. Just days after Wilbur moved in, that neighbor let them know Wilbur's crowing was a problem.

Drew recalls what that neighbor said, "We noticed you got the chickens, we also noticed you got a rooster, the rooster's really bothering us. We'd like you to consider getting rid of him."

Their complaints were taken to the county, which resulted in a $150 fine for the Tanenbaums. But then another came in, with a $4,650 price tag.

"The amount is outrageous. It's been very stressful, knowing that we could continue to be assessed $150 each time the rooster crows," Jackie said.

Baltimore County code allows any amount of poultry on your property, so long as they're not a nuisance and you're on at least one acre of land. 

To help build a case for Wilbur and to dismiss the fines, the Tanenbaums started a petition. It's gotten more than 20,000 signatures as of press time. 

The Tanenbaums say other neighbors have backed them as well. It's all been overwhelming, to say the least.

"I think what that shows is not only we have the support of our community, but generally, people feel that when you live in a rural area, you should be allowed to do rural things," Drew said. "That's just kinda what we're doing here."

WJZ tried getting in touch with the neighbor who filed the complaints, but we haven't heard back.

The Tanenbaums go before the Baltimore County Animal Services Board on Feb. 28.

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