Family Fights To Keep Service Ducks For Autistic Son

 

A 12-year-old boy with autism is in danger of losing his therapy ducks after neighbors complained. Dylan Dyke got the two ducks, named Nibbles and Bill, two years ago and keeps them in a pen behind the family's home. 

Dylan's parents told WZZM that the ducks have really helped their son grow and develop. 

“They've taught him to be responsible,” said Mark Dyke, Dylan’s father. “They've taught him to connect emotionally to someone to something. And it's helped him really develop."

Neighbors are not fans of the ducks and filed complaints with officials in Georgetown Township, Michigan claiming the ducks "often stray from the property and defecate on others lawns, beaches, and patios.” Other neighbors called the backyard pen an "eyesore" and had issues with the noise and smell that comes from the messy pen. 

After receiving the complaints, the town notified the family that the ducks had to go because of a town ordinance that bans residents from owning farm animals.

The family is fighting the order to remove the ducks, hoping to get a variance because the ducks are considered therapy animals for Dylan. 

“We live here. We want to get along with everybody as much as we can, but at the same time we need to advocate for our special needs son,” Mark Dyke, the boy’s father, told WOODTV.com.

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