Raymore family fighting to keep ducks that help comfort teen with disabilities

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RAYMORE, Mo. — A Raymore family is fighting to let a teen keep his ducks.

Diagnosed with dyslexia and apraxia, a type of brain damage, Austin Noah’s mother said her son latched on to the ducks as a form of support.

“I love them so much. They give me cuddles and snuggles, and when I am sad, they help me,” Austin said.

The Noah family’s backyard has a growing number of ducks. They started with two in 2017 and have grown to a total of 13.

Some of the ducks have even won competitions for showmanship.

After four years and a number of complaints from neighbors, the city is now revising the local ordinance allowing these kinds of pets.

Austin’s mom said they have no problem complying, they just want more time.

“We are not trying to make our neighbors upset at us or be trashy. These ducks, he’s always wanted a duck, and like I said, we went through the codes, and it was allowed,” Joyce Noah said.

“We have until June 1st to remove the ducks. I sent a letter asking if we could have until after the state fair because of this pandemic. We have been shut down for two months.”

Noah said her wish is that her son can compete in one last duck showing competition, requesting for an extension until the end of August.

In a statement to FOX4, Raymore Assistant City Manager Mike Ekey said:

“For several years, staff have attempted to work with the Noah family regarding complaints about their ducks from neighbors. In January, when the new City Code went into effect, we again reached out to the family to assist and ensure they were meeting code requirements and that the ducks were placed in a more appropriate home.

“We understand the connection this family has with its ducks is strong, but we also have an obligation to surrounding neighbors who have voiced their concerns about the safety and sanitary conditions of keeping more than a dozen ducks in a single home.”

The Noah family has until June 1 to remove all the ducks.

Ekey said they have already allowed one extension. They have no intentions to extend any further.

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