Chicken Champion in North Charleston, SC Takes Charge

“Some Bird Sanctuary North Charleston is when a bird taking sanctuary can end up being sacrificed for a show for tourists.”

-- June Griggs

When members of a flock of feral chickens started disappearing from the wooded river area they'd made their home 35 years ago, local resident June Griggs took action. She called the media and petitioned the North Charleston City Council to protect the chickens from some neighbors who'd started trapping them to sell at auction and to a nearby village for animal sacrifice. According to The Press and Standard, Feb. 9, 1996, Griggs sought help from several animal protection groups without success--then she learned about United Poultry Concerns. "Griggs then called United Poultry Concerns, Incorporated. . . . [which] sent a letter to the North Charleston City Council, urging the protection of the wild chickens. Griggs also went around the Riverbend Subdivision with a 'Save the Chickens' petition and collected over four pages of signatures."

Griggs' campaign led to a review of the city code which showed North Charleston to be a bird sanctuary where it is unlawful to "trap, hunt, shoot or attempt to shoot or molest in any manner any [nondomesticated] bird or wild fowl." According to legal counsel, "The answer to the question of whether or not the Riverbend chickens fit under this section is clearly, 'yes.'"

Griggs did a superb job of pulling together the community on behalf of these hardy chickens who chose to leave the Magnolia Plantation to live on their own. Her vigilance continues. City Councilman David C. Bowers wrote to UPC in June, "I can assure you that no harm has come to the chickens since this issue first came to light. I have observed newborn chicks scurrying about with the adult chickens and still awaken in the morning to the cocks crowing."

Contact June Griggs, 4785 South Constellation Drive, North Charleston SC 29418 (ph: 803-552-1992).