BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ State agriculture officials plan to inspect a New Yorker’s farm in Bridgeport after the city health department tried to seize his chickens.

Raymond Connors, who oversees animal shelters for the state Department of Agriculture, said Tuesday that the animals don’t appear abused, based on newspaper photos. Still, he said, the agency will have to investigate, the Connecticut Post reported.  

“Now that we’re aware of it, it’s something we’ll have to go take a look at,” he said.

Mayor Bill Finch gave permission to Chris Toole to place his birds at the animal shelter.

Toole said Bridgeport health officials inspected the site several months ago and he received assistance from the animal control officers.

But he’s had financial problems that could invite more scrutiny. Toole says he has trouble paying rent and utilities for his family’s apartment and he needs the farm in part to live on the eggs and goats’ milk. He also said he is behind on child support owed to the mothers of an 8-year-old son in Australia and a 16-year-old son in Canada.

He has announced plans to host a dinner at the farm Friday and to accept donations to help with his finances.

Finch’s staff says they’re worried about liability and fundraising on city land. The matter is being referred to the city attorney.

Bridgeport’s Health Department resisted Toole’s practice of keeping more than a dozen chickens at the family’s apartment. Finch decided Toole could pilot an urban farm at the shelter.
Information from: Connecticut Post,

 (© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 



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