Local News

Cary Woman Cries 'Fowl' Over Bird Droppings In Yard

Posted May 19, 2004

— A fight is brewing in Cary over wildlife that is making itself at home. One woman is beside herself over the gifts of nature being left on her yard.

Ducks, swans and geese of all kinds squawk almost all hours of the day along Kildaire Farms in Cary, and Patricia Van Scoy said it is not just the noise that bothers her. She is finding droppings all over her back yard, and she blames her neighbor Larry Shipp for feeding them.

"Where's the business of being a good neighbor?" Van Scoy said. "If someone had complained to me about something that was this irritating, I think I would have done something. I think I would have stopped."

Van Scoy spent months trying to enlist the help of neighbors and town leaders, but the homeowners association and even the town of Cary refuse to get involved.

"We have no ordinances that prohibit feeding of wildlife or waterfowl," Assistant Town Manager Ben Shivar said.

After months of dealing with the mess, Van Scoy decided to take matters into her own hands. She got a dust pan and a scraper and started scooping up the droppings off her driveway and onto Shipp's yard. Then one day, Van Scoy admitted she took it a little too far.

"I was here with the dust pan or maybe a little closer, and I was aiming for the steps," Van Scoy said. "[My] aim got good or bad, depending on your point of view."

The result was droppings all over Shipp's front door.

"Now granted, I shouldn't have done it, but I was at the end of my tether," Van Scoy said.

Shipp said he is pressing criminal charges. Van Scoy hopes to settle out of court and said she will even pay for a new door if it closes the book on the nuisance geese.

Cary residents are not allowed to keep ducks or geese as pets, but Animal Control says Shipp is doing nothing wrong. Van Scoy is charged with damaging Shipp's property. She could get 120 days in jail.

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