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Video Shows Police Wrangling Chickens in Vacant House. "Our Job is Different Every Day."

Deputies found chickens squatting in the property.

Law enforcement officers in Pierce County, Washington, found themselves in a slightly unusual situation when responding to a call to remove squatters from a vacant property. Sheriff's deputies Tesla Turner and West Jarvis had no trouble convincing the squatters to vacate the house, but had significantly more trouble with their animal companions: The squatters had been keeping chickens, which they refused to take with them, leaving the deputies with no choice but to try and capture the fractious fowls. Here's what happened.

Chicken Trespassers

Pierce Co Sheriff/Twitter

Deputies Turner and Jarvis were responding to what they thought was a fairly straightforward squatter call. When they arrived at the property in South Hill, they discovered a flock of chickens had also taken up residence in the house—and didn't seem to want to leave. "Our job is always different every day," says sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Darren Moss. "Even though you go to 100 squatter calls all the time, this one is clearly different than the other ones." Keep reading to see the video.

Were the Chickens Stolen?

Pierce Co Sheriff/Twitter

Turner and Jarvis escorted 15-20 people out of the building, according to the Sheriff's Department. The squatters didn't want to take their chickens with them. "We would let them take their chickens," says Sgt. Moss. "But they didn't claim the chickens were theirs. So it was like, 'Well, can't just leave them there because no one will be there to take care of them.' If those are somebody's lost chickens, by chance, or they were stolen … they can always get a hold of The Humane Society [of Tacoma & Pierce County] and claim the chickens."

Chickens On the Run

Pierce Co Sheriff/Twitter

Turner and Jarvis had to try and capture the elusive birds, who didn't appreciate being evicted. The sheriff's department caught the whole thing on video, and posted it online. "Deputies assisted Animal Control with wrangling 5 feathered trespassers," they captioned the video. "One of our deputies found a new skill he is great at. We have a photo of him diving to grab one chicken and a video of him catching a second one, no net required! Hope this helps brighten your Monday."

Not Easy to Capture

Pierce Co Sheriff/Twitter

Chickens are not easy to capture, as the hilarious video shows. At one point, the two deputies and County Animal Control officer Ray Wheeler are seen trying to chase the chickens towards each other, but to no avail. Eventually, all the chickens were safely apprehended thanks to the tireless work of Wheeler, Turner, and Jarvis. No chickens were hurt in the process.

What Will Happen To the Chickens?


Animal lovers need not worry—the chickens will be fully checked for diseases and injuries before being put up for adoption. "Overall, chickens can make great pets," says chicken expert Nicola Cosgrove. "They are intelligent animals with unique personalities that make them interesting creatures to keep on your homestead. There are many benefits to keeping chickens as pets, such as having access to fresh eggs. However, chickens should not be treated like domesticated dogs or cats. In most cases, they will thrive outdoors, not indoors, and they should not be kept in your home where human food and water are prepared due to the risk of disease. As long as you make sure to properly care for your chickens and properly clean their living space, they can be a great addition to your family."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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