MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some feathered friends have been added into the mix at Memphis Animal Services on Appling Road. The animal shelter is now caring for 223 chickens rescued from a property in Memphis.

“Our officers got a call from a concerned citizen when they saw transport crates of chickens sitting outside a property,” said MAS Director Alexis Pugh. “Once we got there, we realized there were violations that warranted criminal-level charges.”

Pugh said police were called to the property, and the owner was charged with 223 counts of animal cruelty.

The chickens are now being housed inside cages in temperature controlled garage at the shelter. Pugh said their priority now is getting the birds adopted.

“We know there are interested chicken adopters in our community. We have a lot of rural properties surrounding the city of Memphis,” Pugh said. “Also, there is a thriving chicken community in Midtown and throughout the city.

Memphis Animal Services is also making a plea to the public to adopt dogs and cats in the shelter to help reduce their pet population.

MAS has 722 other animals in its care both on-site and in foster homes.

The chickens will be available for adoption Thursday. The shelter opens at noon.

For more about how to foster or adopt and animal click right here.