By VICTORIA HEUER
September 11, 2009
People who live in South Beach, Florida become accustomed to the colorful wildness that is SoBe. But one resident has stood out amidst this bevy of fabulousness: Mr. Clucky, the rooster who travels the byways of South Beach atop his owner’s bike handlebars, visiting cafés and bars and delighting locals and visitors alike.
While South Beach has a liberal policy on pets -- most restaurants keep doggy dishes for patrons, and clothing stores allow pets to shop with their people -- not everyone welcomes this little bit of rural wilderness. At least, not when it is right next-door.
Mr. Clucky’s owner, the overall clad Mark Buckley, has been fighting his pet rooster’s extradition from Miami Beach since June, when his condo neighbor complained about being continuously awakened by the rooster’s late night, and early morning crowing. The argument: a rooster is not a pet, and does not belong in an urban home. Mr. Buckley vehemently disagrees with this assessment, and has been fighting city hall since receiving the eviction notice in July. He argues that Mr. Clucky is indeed a pet, as well as an asset to the community.
In fact, Mr. Clucky has his own Web site and his own line of merchandise, which includes shirts, bags, and mugs. He even served as Grand Marshall for the King Mango Strut parade in 2008. Mr. Buckley rescued Mr. Clucky from the mean streets of Miami Beach, where he found him hiding in a bush, starving and bleeding.
Miami Beach residential code prohibits cohabitation with animals that are typically kept as livestock, and have said that Mr. Clucky, no matter how domesticated his owner claims he is, is no exception.
Since July, Mr. Buckley has been under fine, at the rate of $50 a day, while he appeals the city’s code, and it appears that he is making some headway. Rather than remove himself to a more rooster-friendly locale, Mr. Buckley has asked the city to make an exception for Mr. Clucky. And in a nod to Mr. Clucky’s overriding popularity, Mayor Matti Herrera Bower agreed to ask City Manager Jorge Gonzalez to grant the resolution this week.
Image source: Gables Lizard via Flickr
The term for domesticated farm animals that are raised for work, wool, milk, and other products and uses. May include pigs, cows, horses, and poultry.