If you're anything like me, then you too wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat frantically wondering, "whatever happened to that Brooklyn model who turned her 1,200-square-foot Williamsburg apartment into an arboretum the likes of which would impress Poison Ivy?" I'm glad you asked, because Summer Rayne Oakes is back in the news—but not because she had a chlorophyll-related accident and now wants to protect the world's plants from the "thoughtless ravages of man." Oakes is back on our radar because of her emotional support hen, which she takes with her all over the city—including on the subway.

I never projected where fostering a little orphan hen from the @wildbirdfund would lead, but admittedly, she’s invited a whole host of new, unexpected experiences that I wouldn’t have ever had the pleasure of having. Now, her story has been told in @modernfarmer, @nypost and @dailymail (see my Stories for more). * * Last year, I took an ovenbird that got caught in an inhumane rat trap to @wildbirdfund, and this little red hen hopped on my lap and started preening herself. The folks at WBF, whom care for thousands of hurt or orphaned birds and animals every year, convinced me to foster her after my book tour for @sugardetoxme came to completion, and I’ve had her ever since. * * I tried to get a coop in my Community Garden, but there wasn’t enough support from fellow gardeners, so K.C. from @Greenthumbnyc tipped me off to @LosSures, a senior citizen service center and food justice program here in Williamsburg, which already had a coop and a community that supported the hens—and just a short walk from my house. Yesterday we had our first volunteer day to rebuild a new, better coop—and this Saturday, May 19th, we’ll be finishing it off, so that we can bring Kippee there and get more orphaned hens for the community to enjoy. * * Around Easter, moms and dads like to get their kids “Easter chicks” or “Easter bunnies” and when the novelty wears off—they typically abandon the animals. Additionally, schools here—namely grade schools, will often incubate birds and then have no plan on what to do with them afterwards—so the birds’ fates are sealed and they wind up without homes—often in streets or city parks to fend for themselves. * * Kippee is a lucky hen (I tell her that every day, though she doesn’t seem to listen), but not all are that lucky. If you’d like to foster a bird or have a farm that would like to take some, then contact @wildbirdfund, as they are always looking for fosters and good permanent, loving homes. I hope Kippee’s story serves as an education tool-not only to educate people about hens, but also about reducing or eliminating the incubation or birds that you cannot support! 🐣 ph @nypost #twochicksinbrooklyn #henmom

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Oakes adopted Kippee, a Rhode Island Red chick, last year after she brought a different wounded bird she found stuck in a rat trap to the Wild Bird Fund. "I was like, 'Oh my God this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.' She jumped up onto my lap and just started preening herself. She was so comfortable there," Oakes told the Post. "She definitely chose me. She imprinted on me right away and we’ve been inseparable ever since."Oakes claims she has only left Kippee alone for two hours in the 11 months since she adopted her, treating her to a life filled with "sipping on San Pellegrino from the cap, nibbling on prosciutto at parties, and posing in commercials and fashion shoots."

"If I leave her she screams and gets really depressed," Oakes added. "Instead of her being my emotional support pet, I’m like her emotional support human."

And look, we have to admit: the hen is pretty cute, as far as hens go! But we come here not to gush over a rescued hen who has the capacity to "exhibit emotional contagion." No, we are here to get to the really tender question: should emotional rescue hens be allowed on subways in the first place?

According to the MTA's terms of use, all animals—whether they are dogs, hens or dead sharks—are technically allowed on the subway as long as they're "enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers." As you can see in our detailed illustration below, Kippee most definitely was NOT enclosed in a container (although it appears that she does have a sort-of container on her lap) in the photos of her on the subway.


But if some dogs are allowed to take up their own subway seats, certainly Kippee would be allowed to roam freely within reason in her capacity as an emotional support hen, no? No: the MTA only allows "service animals" on trains, which does not include "a therapy animal or animal used for emotional support." No matter how much Kippee screams bloody omelets, she cannot be a'roaming on the subway.

Forget a “bee 🐝 in your bonnet”; how about a hen 🐔on your head? * * When my friend, stylist @altorisonyc shared that she had this idea 💡 to turn my hair into a nest for Kippee to sit upon, I admit, I was intrigued. She always pulls the best references from classical paintings and film scenes, and we got together and executed this! * * This was just one of the shots done, which just ran in @modfarm with a little story of Kippee, how she came to @wildbirdfund as an orphan chick, and how we’re raising funds for a brand new coop in the area as part of the @lossures community. When life gives you 🍋 lemons, you make lemonade... (Link in Stories) * * Style & Production: Cynthia Altoriso; Photographer: @davidwhitestudionyc ; Clothing: @maggienorriscouture; Jewelry: @estynhulbert; Makeup: @makeupbyjerrylopez; Hair: Yasutake @yassszzz; Backdrops: @brodersonbackdrops #thechickenworld

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Which leaves us with a final thought: as a society, has our reliance on the term "emotional support animals" gone too far? Is not every animal companion—any animal that we take into our homes, and with whom we share our beds and our food and our weekend routines—in essence an emotional support animal? Putting aside farmers and people raising animals as food, is that not the main reason humans interact with animals? Just because you have a fulfilling relationship with a hen or a bag of snakes or a peacock, does that automatically mean you should be able to take the subway or fly out of Newark Liberty International Airport with them?