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A Michigan family is going head-to-head with their neighbours in a legal fight over their son’s pet ducks.

Dylan Dyke is a 12 year old boy with autism. His two ducks, Bill and Nibbles, help him in a number of ways, but mostly they provide him with emotional support and companionship.

“I can tell [the ducks] anything,” Dylan told Your Morning via a video call interview. “They calm me down after a hard day at school. They’re just awesome.”

Unfortunately, the town where they live has ordered Dylan to get rid of the ducks following complaints from neigbours. They say the ducks defecate on their property and create an unpleasant odour, and they also worry about their property values. (Dylan’s family and neighbours actually live on a lake, where many ducks, geese and swan live.)

The family was told to remove the ducks because they violate local zoning ordinances.

Dylan’s parents, however, aren’t backing down without a fight. They’re appealing to the township to keep Bill and Nibbles, and an upcoming meeting with the zoning board will determine whether they’ve been granted a variance.

The family has raised more than $5,000 through their GoFundMe page to help pay their legal fees.

“I’m very surprised [by the support],” Dylan said. “I’m very thankful to all the people who give support.”

Visit the Let Dylan Keep His Ducks for more info on how to donate.