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Freddie ruffled, but still cocky
Freddie the Rooster serving sentence in Culpeper's animal shelter for disturbing the peace.

 Freddie the rooster is being held in a former dog pen at the Culpeper County Animal Shelter.
ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 9/6/2012

BY DONNIE JOHNSTON

Oh, the inhumanity.

Only a few days ago, Freddie the Free Range Rooster was cock of the walk at the east end of the town of Culpeper.

Today, he paces around anxiously in a pen at the Culpeper County Animal Shelter.

And not even a rooster pen, but a dog pen! In fact, the name on the cage door reads "Lucky, a pit bull"!

Perhaps it will get changed to "Unlucky Freddie" in the days to come.

During an exclusive interview, Freddie indicated that he is being treated well, although the howling dogs seem to be getting on his nerves and the screaming cats are driving him crazy.

But as this reporter left the holding area, there came a loud "cock-a-doodle-do," which loosely translated apparently means "Somebody get me the heck outta here!"

"He's been crowing all day," said Animal Services Director Jamie Bennett. "He's kinda cocky."

And Freddie has a right to be a bit haughty. Although town police Chief Chris Jenkins has refused to release details regarding his capture, accounts of the late-night raid have emerged.

According to an eyewitness report, it took five officers (with three police cruisers) nearly 20 minutes to get their hands on this tough old bird after they sneaked up on his English boxwood roost at 3 a.m. Saturday.

"From what the eyewitness told me, the cops were chasing him all over that yard," said Donnie Kilby, manager of County Farm Service, Freddie's adopted home for the past six months.

Kilby added that Freddie fought hard for his freedom. This rooster was no chicken.

County Farm Service employees are still shaken by the ordeal.

"Spirits were pretty low around here today," Kilby admitted Tuesday. "It was sad not to see Freddie when we opened up this morning."

Since spring, the red rooster had been an unpaid regular at the feed store, with employees putting out scratch feed for Freddie every morning, noon and night. When squirrels would attempt to share the meal, the rooster would chase them up a tree, neighbors said.

Then, early last week, one neighbor complained about Freddie's early morning crowing and he became a wanted chicken.

"It was only one person who complained," said Bennett, the animal services director. "That person complained several times."


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