Town changes ordinance so woman can keep pet geese

A Waterford woman can now keep her pet geese (WFSB)

Farm animals or pets? A Waterford woman is fighting the town to keep her pet geese after they were cited for being farm animals and illegal inhabitants in her backyard.

Now she’ll have to petition to change a longstanding zoning rule.

“I’ve grown very attached to them. They’re pets. They’re a part of my family,” said Kristine Wilcox, who has two geese as pets, Emma and Luna.

Neighbors to her left and right love the geese, but for the past year she’s been fighting to keep them after someone in the neighborhood complained.

“Someone did say that they thought it was causing the rats to come. I’ve never seen a rat. They’re her pets. My daycare kids love going over and seeing them and I just think it’s really sad,” said Barbara Hall, of Waterford.

Wilcox received a letter from the town saying she needs to remove the geese because they are farm animals.

She fought that by showing vet records and proving they’re her pets.

Now the town says she is in violation of a “no backyard poultry” rule.

Town zoning officials said they will be discussing the issue at a meeting on Monday, and possibly looking to amend the rule.

However, Wilcox doesn’t have time to wait.

“I’ve been told I can keep the geese so long as I keep them in my house, which isn’t something that’s feasible. They’re two females they need a nest. They need some place for shelter,” Wilcox said.

Surrounding towns have done away with similar provisions.

So Wilcox is on a mission to change Waterford’s “no backyard poultry rule.”

It’ll cost her at least $300 to petition the board.

“if I have to be the catalyst so other people can enjoy having animals like this then that’s okay for me,” Wilcox said.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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