TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When you think of family pets, usually a dog or cat comes to mind, but for one Terre Haute family they say their life isn't complete without the family hens. The only problem is their pets are a violation of city code.
It's the kind of after school activity you see on a farm, collecting the eggs from the hen house.
"The prices (of eggs) in the store are almost two dollars a dozen with the exception of the holiday," Kevin Levesque of Terre Haute said.
But the hen house we encountered is located on a backyard farm. Kevin Levesque's in the city of Terre Haute.
"That was the baseline for it pretty much for more eggs and to teach the kids a little more than just a dog and a cat," Levesque said.
But a few weeks ago the Levesques were told their hen house pets are a violation of city code; for having farm animals in a residential zone.
"If you look up the definition of farm animal at USLAW.org it doesn't include chickens," Kevin said.
So we sat down with the Terre Haute city attorney, Chou-Il Lee, to find out what the ordinance regarding pets does say. Lee said the ordinance says that only companion animals can be kept in residential areas; and chickens are not included in it.
At the backyard farm, Kevin said he understands the ordinance, but forgive him if he disagrees. He said bigger cities actually allow chickens.
"St. Louis right in our backyard, people are allowed to have chickens. You can have up to a certain number, and then you have to file for a permit to have more," Kevin said.
He said he will focus his energy on working with city council to get chickens allowed in city limits. But if he's unsuccessful he'll have no choice but to let the chickens fly the coop, so to speak.
The Levesque family said they are working on creating a city coalition for sustainable living. That includes retainer crops in gardens as well as the chickens.
UPDATE: Around 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Terre Haute Police Department responded to the Statesman Inn room 144 at 1407 N 3rd Street. Officers found Randall Norton Jr, 21, with multiple stab wounds to his back and abdomen.
The Washington Police Department responded Friday around 2 a.m. to a complaint of a male subject being shot. The incident happened on Oak Grove Road in Washington near Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family. For some people the term family goes beyond their children.
Thursday night’s church fire in Prairie Creek in Vigo County was still smoldering Friday afternoon.
UPDATE: An assault on Friday around 2 p.m. leaves one man seriously injured. Terre Haute Police responded to the 2100 block of Locust Street in Terre Haute after a report of a battery.
The warmer weather is a thing of the past, and it's expected to get worse.