On Nov. 9, we lost our home as well as our barn, turtle hospital and everything we own in the Woolsey Fire, along with many, many homes in Malibu Park.

On March 6, I received a citation for $500 from the County of LA Department of Animal Care and Control for our chickens. Some heartless person, who didn’t lose his or her home, complained that our two chickens were crowing occasionally. Six years ago, we rescued these two young chickens, which morphed into roosters, off PCH near Zuma Beach. Their houses burned down, too, but they survived by sheltering in place in fireproof turtle houses.

We are very surprised and disappointed that, under the circumstances, some person and animal control would beat us up when we are already down. This is a very cruel practice to fine people who lost everything. We are in a federal disaster zone. According to FEMA’s Pet Evacuations and Sheltering Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP9523.19), agencies should offer support and reimbursements, not fines.

We hear chickens crowing all over Malibu now that buildings are gone and not blocking the sound. Our property is over an acre, and we conform to all the codes of Malibu and LA County—the chickens here are perfectly legal.

For God’s sake, under the circumstances, people who live in Malibu and whose homes burned down should be given a break. The fire was devastating to our neighborhood, and even though it is five months out, the city and county rules keep everyone from rebuilding quickly.

Susan Tellem

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