Don't Make Veteran Give Up His Therapy Ducks!

Army veteran Darin Welker has been raising 14 ducks since March 2014 to give him a sense of purpose and to help him heal from the mental and physical trauma he still faces from fighting in Iraq in 2005. His town of West Lafayette, OH, is trying to force him to give up the ducks because of a 2010 law that prohibits keeping poultry.

Welker, 36, sustained a back injury during his time in service. The Department of Veteran Affairs agreed to pay for the surgery he needed in 2012, but refused to support physical or mental therapy. He started caring for the ducks when they were only a few days old after hearing that ducks made good therapy pets. Doing chores to care for the ducks helps him physically, and watching them play is relaxing and helps him mentally.

Welker has a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Department recommending that he be allowed to keep the ducks. Last year, the City Council made an exception to allow a citizen in a wheelchair to keep a therapy pig, so Welker's situation is not without precedent. Please sign the petition to urge West Lafayette officials to let Welker keep his therapy ducks!

We, the undersigned, are concerned with West Lafayette officials' efforts to make Army veteran Darin Welker surrender his 14 therapy ducks.


Welker, 36, sustained a back injury during his time in service. The Department of Veteran Affairs agreed to pay for the surgery he needed in 2012, but refused to support physical or mental therapy. He started caring for the ducks in March 2014, when they were only a few days old, after hearing that ducks made good therapy pets. Doing chores to care for the ducks helps him physically, and watching them play is relaxing and helps him mentally.


Welker has a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Department recommending that he be allowed to keep the ducks. Last year, the City Council made an exception to anti-livestock laws to allow a citizen in a wheelchair to keep a therapy pig, so Welker's situation is not without precedent. We respectfully urge you to let Welker keep his therapy ducks. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our petition.

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