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Town Ordered To Remove Boy With Autism's Therapy Ducks - Now He's Fighting Back

GoFundMe (Help Dylan Keep His Ducks)

Therapy animals have changed countless lives - supporting their human companions during the most difficult times.

Whether or not it's a domestic animal, both the service pet and their owner have a unique bond.

Pet therapy has been proven to assist people with disabilities, and for that reason there are federal regulations for emotional support animals.

Despite all this, there have been many instances where people have been denied these animals.

For example, Delta recently banned "pit bull type" support animals, which resulted in a heated debate.

While there are many people who stand by therapy dogs, not everyone has the same sentiment when it comes to wild animals.

Parents of a 12-year-old boy with autism are fighting to keep their son's therapy ducks after their town was ordered to get rid of them - and now they're asking for your help.

“The sight and smell is offensive and embarrassing... It could affect our home values."

Dylan, from Georgetown, Township in Michigan, has two best friends: his ducks, Nibbles and Bill.

“These ducks are his everything,” Jen Dyke, the boy’s mother, told WOODTV. “They’re his whole life.”

The ducks are kept in a pen behind the family home, which is by a small lake.

"They provide the opportunity for him to calm down. They provide the opportunity for him to practice emotional regulation,” Dr. Eric Dykstra, Dylan’s psychologist, said on behalf of the boy.

But some of their neighbors aren't pleased by the nuisance these animals have caused in their neighborhood.

The town says they've received several complaints, but only two have been made public.

“The ducks are free to roam around when their autistic child is present, but often stray from the property and defecate on others (sic) lawns, beaches and patios,” one complaint stated.

“The sight and smell is offensive and embarrassing... It could affect our home values as well,” another complaint wrote.

Dylan's psychologist and his parents know that having those ducks removed from his life would cause "significant emotional distress."

"We also believe that Dylan is protected under various laws because of this disability. As such, we have been fighting for Dylan to keep his ducks and retained lawyers who have helped in many areas," the parents wrote on their GoFundMe page.

A statement by the homeowners' association said:

"While weighing the interests of all neighbors in our neighborhood, we have attempted to facilitate a manageable resolution, and remain committed to an outcome that balances clear and stable expectations for all neighbors, the consideration of specific family requests, the mitigation of negative impacts on others, and a predictable path for any similar future requests."

The Dykes hope the ruling goes in their favor, or else they might have to go to court.

"We live here,” Dylan's father added. "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."

If you would like to help Dylan keep his ducks, click here to be directed to his GoFundMe page.

Do you think Dylan should be allowed to keep his ducks?

To see heartwarming photos that show how therapy dogs change lives for the better, click here!

[H/T: Fox News / Wood TV]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.