A loose dog led a Livingston, California, Animal Control officer to Belina. After chasing the stray through several backyards, the officer came to an empty lot where she noticed an abandoned car. The vehicle was packed with odds and ends, scrap wood, garbage — and a hen! A tether around her ankle kept the hen trapped in the squalor with no access to food or water, but the she was alive. There was no way to locate and charge the owner of the car, but, because it is illegal to keep chickens within Livingston city limits, the officer was able to confiscate the hen at once. When the Animal Control office contacted Farm Sanctuary, we offered this girl — now named Belina — a home at our Northern California Shelter in Orland.
Belina is thrilled to be here, and we’re thrilled to have her. Despite the cruel neglect she formerly experienced at human hands, this vivacious chicken loves people and attention. Just look at her bomb her way into a recent photo taken of our shelter interns!
When she first arrived, Belina was housed in isolation in the shelter clinic while we checked her for parasites and any other signs of illness. As soon as her test results came back negative and we were confident that she was healthy, we moved her to one of our chicken habitats to join a resident flock. Overjoyed to be outside, Belina immediately found a patch of dirt and started dust bathing. The next day, when Shelter Director Tara Oresick visited the barn to check on her, Belina ran up to greet her caregiver — and she still runs, bursting with curiosity, to greet anyone who visits her. Exploring, eating grass, and nesting in the tall grass in her yard, this hen once left to die in a car full of trash, now lives in a world full of fascination and delight.