“We’ll pick up trapped animals, but we don’t run around chasing wild animals,” Ballenger said. “They don’t stay in the wild by being dumb. They can be tricky.” Two visits from the city’s code enforcement officers confirmed that Van Campen was in a Catch-22 situation. “We cannot respond to a complaint if we have no responsible party,” said Steve Wilkomm, spokesman for the Whittier Code Enforcement Department. “Basically, it’s an Animal Control issue if it’s a wild unclaimed animal that’s wreaking havoc in the community.” Jack Halterman, recent neighbor and manager of a neighboring apartment complex, offered to catch the rooster by using a mirror to lure him into a cage. If his wife lets him, he wants to take the rooster to his new home in Santa Fe Springs, where he already owns a small collection of animals, including two hens. “Show him an image of himself and he’ll do the `Cock of the Walk’ thing,” said Halterman, who grew up on a farm in Iowa. “They think it’s another rooster and they want to fight. He’ll come right up to it.” According to neighbor Ray Rios, someone did manage to catch the rooster several months ago. “A man came to my door with the rooster thinking it was mine,” Rios said. “The rooster looked like it had been in a fight, all skinny and with missing feathers. It had a leash around its leg. “But now it’s loose and he wakes me up at 4 a.m. every day. In fact, I don’t even set my clock anymore. He the noisiest little guy.” Laurel Meyer said she likes the early morning wake-up calls from Mr. Cogburn, saying it reminded her of her childhood on a Pico Rivera farm. “He was just a little guy when he first showed up,” Meyer said. “Then one morning I heard him crowing and I thought, `Oh no, he’s a rooster.”‘ As for Van Campen, she’d just as soon the rooster crossed the road to get to another yard. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – When a young chicken took up residence in Uptown Whittier five months ago, he became a cute little novelty – chased by cats and kids alike.But with the onset of adolescence, his innocent clucking soon turned into the signature cock-a-doodle-dooing of mature roosters, leaving residents with plenty to crow about. The rooster – neighbors have dubbed him Mr. Rooster Cogburn after a John Wayne character – decided the shady, fenced back yard of Edith Van Campen provided a perfect smorgasbord of freshly laid grass seeds, water and shelter. So comfortable is he that occasionally he even jumps up and peers through the front porch window into Van Campen’s home. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“He first showed up in the area with a cord around his leg,” Van Campen said. “But when I had my yard re-seeded, it became the dining room for the rooster. Now it cock-a-doodle-doos at all hours, starting at about 4 or 5 \. “Some of the neighbors have complained to me. Some like it and some not. I’m becoming one of the people who doesn’t like it.” Twice so far, officers from the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control have left warnings for Van Campen about the city’s prohibition against the keeping of fowl. “The first warning just told me that roosters were illegal in Whittier and the second one said the rooster must go,” Van Campen said. “I told them it wasn’t my rooster and that I had no way to catch him. They told me I had to catch him first, then they’d come and get him.” Bob Ballenger, spokesman for Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, said his department does not trap animals.