October 1, 2007
[Minneapolis Star Tribune - video at full story link]
The woman tosses cracked corn, oats and sunflower seeds into a
carrying case. The drive is short from her north Minneapolis home to
the city's Animal Care and Control Shelter. Snapshots on the shelter
lobby's wall serve as a roster of the day's impounded animals: eight
pit bulls, 18 cats, two chickens. "Let's do it," the woman says.
Mary Britton Clouse rescues chickens.
Last year, 249 birds wound up at Animal Control, up from 119 birds in 2005.
More than 115 have come in this year.
Until 2001, Britton Clouse had never held a chicken. A former
president of the Animal Rights Coalition, she says chickens are the
"most abused and exploited" animal on the planet.
"Of all the animals out there, they were the ones that needed a friend
the most," she said.
So she founded Chicken Run Rescue in 2001, believed to be the only
chicken adoption organization in the nation. Juli, the red hen, is the
222nd chicken she's liberated. After a five-day quarantine in a shower
stall at her home, softened with straw and sprinkled with seeds and
Romaine lettuce hearts, Juli will be ready for adoption.
Britton Clouse, 54, places the chickens as companion animals in homes.
"If you're expecting a dog, you'll be disappointed, but they
definitely have individual personalities, likes and dislikes, and can
be affectionate and follow you around," said Jodi Hesse, 35, an
adopter from western Wisconsin.