Possible Emu Evacuation Sparks Neighborhood Debate


by Kirk Hawkins

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Shellie Pincay has been raising her Emu, Keala, in her back yard since she saved her from a farm that wanted to sell her for meat and beauty products. "See. She's very, very affectionate...and she's been this way since she was a baby," Pincay said.

But, Shellie's neighbor, Willie Williams has been raising a stink. "It makes it very unhealthy, very unhealthy," he said. Williams isn't happy about the smell and the rodents that he says come from
the cage that sits just twenty feet from his kitchen door. "I like animals. I don't have a problem with animals. This is a matter of health," said Williams.

As a result of Willie's Complaints, Shellie says Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control officials told her they wouldn't renew the permit she's had for ten years. "I feel like it's unfair. After I've had her all this time. They tell me she has to go? It's just unfair. it's not right!" she said

Now, Shellie is doing everything she can to proect the bird she's raised since it was just eight weeks old. "I'm willing to fight to keep her. If I have to, I'll go to jail," said Pincay.

Pincay says Animal Care and Control has given her less than a month to find a new home for her emu. She is trying to appeal to animal control and the mayor's office. Animal Care and Control has not yet returned our requests for comment.


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