The chickens found wandering the Peninsula last week are now ready for adoption.
More than 100 birds – laying hens – were found in at least five different locations early Thursday morning with the last stragglers coming into the CRD Animal Control shelter Saturday.
Don Brown, chief bylaw officer of the CRD, said because the chickens were still laying eggs after they were discovered, they are still of value and were likely dumped illegally.
“I just wish if someone had birds they couldn’t care for anymore they would have contacted us so that we could have helped, instead of dumping them,” Brown said.
Members of North and Central Saanich police and fire departments were the first on the scene Thursday morning after a resident called concerned about a number of chickens wandering around on Birch Road.
The chickens were turned over to the care of Animal Control and spent the weekend recuperating in the shelter. Brown said one chicken had to be put down but for the most part the rest are healthy.
Since then, calls and emails have been pouring in from people interested in adopting the birds.
“Most of them have been spoken for,” Brown said, adding they’ll be adopted by local farmers or those allowed to have hens in their backyard, as well as a few animal rescue groups. “About a dozen are left after that.”
Anyone interested in adopting a chicken – ready Monday after noon – can contact the shelter at 250-474-3351.
Officials are also looking for any tips from the public about the origin of the chickens.
Brown said whoever is responsible could be subject to penalties under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act that may include hefty fines, conditions on owning animals or potentially jail time.
“It’s animal cruelty for sure,” Brown said.