Ohio Vet Faces Court Hearing over Therapeutic Ducks

by Andrew Johnson

Iraq War veteran Darin Welker of West Lafayette, Ohio will challenge a local law at a court hearing on Wednesday over his 14 ducks that he says help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the village’s law passed in 2010, residents cannot have any kind of fowl or livestock on their property.

But Welker, who described the situation as “aggravating in a lot of ways,” hopes to make the case that the ducks help him with not only his PTSD, but also with a back injury that a 2012 surgery paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs did not correct. “Taking care of them is both mental and physical therapy,” he told the Associated Press.

Welker will go to nearby Coshocton Municipal Court on Wednesday to explain why feeding, caring for, and even just watching the ducks is good for him. He will also present a letter from the VA recommending that he keep the birds.

Even if the court doesn’t somehow rule in Welker’s favor, he will only face a minor misdemeanor, which includes a $150 fine.

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