Autistic Boy Forced To Get Rid Of Therapy Ducks After Neighbour Says They Lowered House Prices
A 12-year-old American child with autism has been told to get rid of his two best friends - a pair of ducks - because neighbours have complained about them.
Dylan Dyke has been ordered by zoning officials in Georgetown, Michigan, to get rid of the two birds, called Nibbles and Bill, because they are against a law that states that residents can't farm animals on their property.
Neighbours have also complained that the birds smell, poo on their gardens, and could lower the value of houses in the area.
One of the neighbours told the Metro: "The sight and smell is offensive and embarrassing... It could affect our home values as well."
Another said: "The ducks are free to roam around when their autistic child is present, but often stray from the property and defecate on others' lawns, beaches and patios."
However, it's plain to see that the two ducks mean an awful lot to Dylan, and he and his family don't want to go down without a fight.
At the heart of this, however, is a young boy who is about to have his pets taken from him.
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Dylan said: "I can tell them anything and they just won't be bothered by it. These ducks understand me so much. My siblings do as well, but these ducks just trust me more.
"It just wouldn't be the same (if they were taken). I know we're going to win since I love these ducks so much and I know that a lot of people online love ducks as well."
His mum, Jen Dyke, added: "These ducks are his everything. They're his whole life."
What's more, Dylan's psychologist, Dr. Eric Dykstra, thinks that they are not only great companions for him, but they have real health benefits for the young lad.
He said: "They provide the opportunity for him to calm down. They provide the opportunity for him to practice emotional regulation. For Dylan these ducks are extremely helpful.
"I believe [their removal] would cause significant emotional distress for him."
Currently, Nibbles and Bill are kept in a pen that is outside the back of the Dyke family home. Even the local homeowners' association are hoping that a solution can be found that suits everyone.
A spokesperson said that they want a 'manageable situation' and will 'engage with all neighbours in the process'.
Featured Image Credit: Dylan's Duck Adventures