Controversy erupts over animals found in New Haven yard

Neighbors say woman is violating ordinance

NEW HAVEN, Mich. – A New Haven man said his neighbor who keeps farm animals within the village limits is in violation of an ordinance, but local leaders aren't fixing it.

Neighbors on Main Street in New Haven said they smell a foul odor that's coming from the animals being kept behind a house.

The smell of the neighbor's farm animals is just part of the problem for Ira Earehart.

"I get up in the morning, turn on Channel 4 and I open the sliding door and all I hear is the rooster," Earehart said. "I have to keep turning my TV up louder."

Earehart and his neighbor, Laura Harper, have clashed legally in the past, when he stole her cat.

This time, Earehart says Harper is violating the ordinance.

"I was told two years ago there was no ordinance in place and that I could have my chickens as long as the neighbor's didn't complain about the noise," Harper said.

"Rooster crowing all day," Earehart said. "Pig oinking all day. Dogs barking all day."

Other neighbors have complained too, and the village agrees.

"Not just the animals, but the blight itself," said New Haven Village President Chris Dilbert. "It's a mess."

It's a for which mess Harper has been ticketed.

"The violations weren't written properly," Dilbert said. He said that resulted in the ticket being thrown out by the judge.

"I will fight it all the way," Harper said.

Harper said she's getting rid of the rooster. She said the two pigs are potbellies, so they're not livestock, they're pets.

The village said there's no timetable, but the animals will have to go eventually.

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