ANDOVER — A local resident has been ordered to pay a fine for keeping what he said were emotional support chickens on his property.

Barry Walsky pleaded guilty to housing non-domestic animals on his property after originally being charged with keeping chickens on less than six acres, according to a story in the New Jersey Herald. Walsky has already moved the two chickens to a friend's property.

After pleading guilty in court, Walksy defended the use of the animals as emotional supports, saying he and his fiancee "don't raise poultry, we don't raise them for laying eggs," the Herald quoted him as saying.

Walsky and his fiancee, Meena Ganti, had gone before township officials on at least nine occasions seeking to allow them to keep the animals. According to the Herald, Walsky was given the opportunity to apply for a land use variance, but told the paper that he could not afford the costs for that process, which he estimated to be as high as $2,500.


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