Chickens that sparked Chandler controversy now missing

June 24, 2013

A flock of hens that ignited controversy over the city of Chandler’s backyard chicken ban has gone missing.

Jellybean Jellybean, seen above with Banjo the cat, is one of the 12 chickens that went missing late last week from the Papay household. Sheila Papay says the family is especially worried about Jellybean, as she's blind and is much more of a "house chicken" than her fellow hens. (Photo courtesy of Joe and Sheila Papay)





























































The birds disappeared just weeks before a city council vote on the issue.

The 12 chickens went missing Friday morning from Arcadia, the Phoenix neighborhood where the Papay family moved with their hens as they waited for Chandler’s chicken laws to change. Sheila Papay said she no idea what happened to the birds, but she suspects someone might have taken them in retaliation.

Her husband Joe originally asked the city to reconsider its ban on backyard chickens last year, and the family has been vocal on the issue ever since. Papay said losing their chickens has been hardest on their two children.

“They are heartbroken,” Papay said. “My daughter sleeps with a stuffed chicken every night. She cries, wanting to know how Jellybean’s doing, because she’s worried about our blind chicken. We have two little babies, that are about six weeks old, that are going to have a tough time.”

The proposed ordinance allowing chickens in Chandler neighborhoods, inspired by the Papay family's hens, goes up for a vote in July.