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Local News in Brief : Santa Ana : Rooster Owner Given Jail Term, Way Out

A judge has sentenced a Santa Ana man to 120 days in County Jail for keeping a pet rooster within the city limits.

But the judge offered the defendant a deal: If he gets rid of the bird by Oct. 28, he does not have to serve any time at all.

Jose Sanchez, 26, has kept the 8-year-old rooster, named Travis, as a pet since it was just a few weeks old. He has acknowledged that for nearly two years he has defied city efforts to force him to give up the pet.

“We don’t want him to go to jail,” said Deputy City Atty. Frank L. Rhemrev. “We just want him to get rid of the bird.”

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City officials first got interested in Travis after a neighbor complained that the rooster crowed in the pre-dawn hours and woke them.

Sanchez’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Linda Van Winkle, told Central Municipal Judge Gary P. Ryan on Friday that Sanchez has been trying in recent weeks to get the Santa Ana City Council members to amend a city ordinance so he can keep the rooster.

Ryan last month convicted Sanchez of four misdemeanor counts of violating the city ordinance against barnyard animals. He gave Sanchez until Friday to get rid of the rooster or be sentenced.

When the judge found out Friday that Sanchez still has the rooster, he gave him consecutive sentences of 30 days for each of the four counts, but stayed the sentence until Oct. 28 to give Sanchez one more chance to get rid of the bird.

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