Ohio veteran can keep ducks to relieve PTSD, depression

FILE – In this July 10, 2014, file photo, Iraq War veteran Darin Welker holds one of his ducks at his home in West Lafayette, Ohio. West Lafayette Village Council members voted Tuesday, July 18, 2017, to grant a variance allowing Welker to keep pet ducks he says help relieve his post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, the Coshocton Tribune reported. (Trevor Jones /The Tribune via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio veteran who sought to defy local law and keep pet ducks, that he says help relieve his post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, can now keep them.

The Coshocton Tribune reports the West Lafayette Village Council this week granted Darin Welker a variance to an ordinance prohibiting farm animals in the village, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) east of Columbus.

Welker was convicted in 2014 of a misdemeanor for violating the ban on farm animals. A state appeals court later upheld his conviction and the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal.

Welker argued his six ducks have been therapeutic. He served in Iraq with the Army and was medically discharged from the Ohio National Guard. His doctor says the ducks have helped.

Welker declined to comment on the decision.

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