Stephanie Stewart, 41, of Bluffton admitted she did not have permission from the city or from her homeowner's association when her family adopted Smartie the chicken, but she plans to argue in Bluffton Municipal Court that the foul is a family pet, not a banned livestock animal, The Hilton Head (S.C.) Island Packet reported Tuesday.
"Growing up in Indiana ... I think of cows and horses as livestock," Stewart said. "I am not looking to farm, and I'm not going to build an ugly coop in my yard. [Smartie] sleeps in a dog crate in the garage. She mostly stays in my flower beds underneath plants I have out there. She scratches around, and if it's getting dark, she will peck on the door to come in."
Stewart said her family adopted Smartie in June and her 3-year-old daughter, Shaelyn, is particularly fond of the bird.
Town Manager Anthony Barrett said police cited Stewart Aug. 30 after receiving a complaint about the ordinance violation.
"I will assure you the police department was not just riding through the neighborhood and saw a chicken and issued a citation. A complaint was filed, and the police department responded," he said.