The Hart family is fortunate that they still have their five chickens, despite a gruesome discovery over the weekend.
"I was absolutely shocked, really," said Ashleigh Hart, who explained that the birds were dismembered in a backyard coop.
Hart said theses are the same chickens that help her 2-year-old autistic son, JJ, with therapy. According to deputies, there were no footprints or sign of forced entry, and the chickens had bite marks from an unknown animal. They believe an animal forced its way into the coop, but the family thinks otherwise.
"There's no way an animal could have gotten in, unless someone opened up the door and let it in," hart said.
Despite the incident, support for the family has poured in from across the country. They now have a Facebook page with hundreds of "likes" and a petition for city council to change the code, signed by hundreds of supporters.
"I actually got a call from a woman, who lives in Massachusetts ,yesterday wanting to support us, and giving me advice"
Hart said people have offered to house the chickens or replace the chickens they lost. Others, complete strangers, have simply connected with a little boy who benefits from time with his chickens.
"We're going to support them 100 percent," said next door neighbor Debbie Corradini, adding that the community plans to make their voice heard at the next city council meeting. "They do want to hear from the neighbor, so we're rounding up as many neighbors as we possibly can to support them."
DeBary code enforcement gave the family 60 days to present their case before city council. The family plans to speak at City Hall on Nov. 7.