Town Orders Autistic Boy To Get Rid Of His Service Ducks

Complaints came in to officials in the George Township area of Michigan, where neighbors are upset over a young boy's ducks. Dylan Dyke is a 12-year-old child dealing with autism, and he is now at risk of losing his service ducks, Nibbles and Bill, reports the New York Post. His parents are currently fighting against the township to keep his ducks.

Dylan houses the ducks in a pen behind his home, according to Wood TV. He and his parents also have letters from Dylan's doctors, where statements have attested that the birds are Dylan's emotional support animals. Jen Dyke, the boy's mother, spoke with reporters about the issue and how upsetting this ordeal is for her family, making known the importance of Nibbles and Bill in Dylan's life.

"These ducks are his everything. They're his whole life."
Neighboring complaints claim the ducks are a nuisance, say township official leaders. An unpleasant odor stands at the top of the listed remarks against Nibbles and Bill, as certain others in the neighborhood feel that the bird's eliminating on the Dyke property — allegedly off of it as well — is causing an unpleasant smell. The family is part of a Home Owner's Association, and at least two of the complaints which have been made public by 24 Hour News 8 under the Freedom of Information Act, are citing the association's bylaws for the argument against the two ducks.

According to one of the complaints, one anonymous neighbor cites the family as "breaking at least 6 Association rules along with town zoning regulations." These complaints also say the birds are loud and "embarrassing."

"It looks terrible and is quite and eyesore in an otherwise beautiful neighborhood. We spend a lot of time and money to maintain our property values and the sight and smell is offensive and embarrassing. The duck pen is messy, extremely smelly, unclean, diminishes our quality of enjoying our own backyard, and unsightly."
https://www.facebook.com/DylansDuckAdventures/posts/1012526978922604

An ordinance that will prohibit homeowners in the area from having farm animals on their property is being dished out by township officials in the area where the Dykes live. Dylan's family submitted a request for an ordinance variance, hoping for the zoning appeals board to rule in their favor. A George Township hall meeting will be held August 22, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., where a decision will be made regarding the fate of Nibbles and Bill.

Doctor Eric Dykstra, Dylan's psychologist, is standing by the family during their battle against the township. Dr. Dykstra has stated that he believes removing the ducks could potentially cause "significant emotional distress" for Dylan.

"They provide the opportunity to calm down. They provide the opportunity for him to practice emotional regulation. For Dylan these ducks are extremely helpful."
The Dyke family has created a Facebook page titled Dylan's Duck Adventures, where they post information, photographs, and a link to their GoFundMe page. They have also apparently created shirts with an image of Dylan and his ducks as the center logo, with the words "Let Dylan Keep His Ducks," written around the photograph.

https://www.facebook.com/DylansDuckAdventures/posts/1019285018246800