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Ohio Veteran Found Guilty, Fined Over Pet Ducks

Iraq war veteran Darin Welker, 36, of West Lafayette, Ohio, says his 14 pet ducks serve as mental and physical therapy for him. He's worried he'll have to give them up after village officials told him he can't keep them on his property. Trevor Jones/AP

COSHOCTON, Ohio  — An Ohio Army veteran who says his pet ducks help relieve his post-traumatic stress disorder and depression has been convicted of a minor misdemeanor for keeping the birds.

Darin Welker was cited for violating a village ban on keeping farm animals in West Lafayette, about 80 miles east of Columbus. He was found guilty Wednesday and fined $50 plus court costs.

A message was left for his attorney.

A prosecutor said the ordinance was clear and the judge's hands were tied.

The Coshocton Tribune reports Welker recently gave away eight of the ducks but still has six.

Welker, who argued for a change in the law, said in court the ducks are fenced in the yard but sometimes have been in his house or sitting on a recliner.

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