This is a copy of the email I sent to each of the city council members (in case one or more tried to ignore it :) )
I am pleased to learn you are hosting a workshop on keeping legal chickens in the City of Tampa as this I hope will start a trend through out the state (some places are already there like Pinellas County). I regrettably work Monday-Friday and cannot attend these wonderful events to speak my piece so I hope you will listen to this email. As a mother I am always worried about what we are putting in our bodies not to mention our children's bodies so by raising a couples hens I am able to provide fresh eggs for my family, with no antibiotics or other chemicals in them.
Please keep in mind its not just the eggs but also the bond my 3 year old has with them. We got our hens when they were just a couple days old and fluffy little balls of cheeping cuteness, my daughter held them softly every day, she sang to them, and sat next to their pen and told them stories she made up. As they grew her love for them did as well, she goes outside every morning to let them out of the coop, she feeds them, helps mommy and daddy clean the coop, she sits with them, cuddles them, pets them, and still sings to them. They are her pets and they are better with her then our cat is. She will chase them around, pick them up, stick her face in theirs, pull on their feathers, she has given them "haircuts", brought them inside and wrapped them in her blankets, this girl has put those chickens through more then any cat and a lot of dogs would take.. but they do so happily, and always greet her anytime she goes out to see them. I have taught my daughter responsibility and the love of nature with these kind animals and they have shown us nothing but happiness and love back.
So yes chickens can be pets and darn good ones at that, they are useful pets by providing us with a wonderfully yummy eggs every 24 hours, and give us wonderful fertilizer for our gardens where we grow are own fruits and veggies. What is wrong with this picture perfect scene? Why would it be illegal in any city anywhere? I do not understand, and I hope I can get you to join my cause.
As with ANY animal there will be some bad eggs (excuse the pun) and if there is a problem pet chicken it can easily be handled like a barking dog, or garden digging cat would. The nuisance law. This would make sure chicken owners (again like any other pet owner) would have to keep a clean non stinky area, no loud noises after hours, no mean animals, no fence hoppers, no garden diggers, no troublesome chickens. Please give people who care about their health and their earth the same rights a cat owner, dog owner, parrot owner would have... the chance to prove that chickens make great household pets!