Neighbors, friends, and family protest to keep ducks at home in Richland Borough

RICHLAND, LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. -- 'Taking a kids pets is riduckulus' - that's what some people in Richland have to say in response to the borough telling the Ortiz family they must remove their pet ducks.

"I fought for the country; I'm going to fight for my family. That's just the way it is. Coby feels like the ducks are part of his family; therefore, they're part of mine," said John Sokol.

The ducks are special to Coby Ortiz, an 11-year-old boy with autism. The family brought them home 8 months ago and say Coby has become more compassionate and friendly ever since.

"Nothing is spelled out in their regulations about what, how many, or anything. It's so ambiguous.. It's unenforceable," added Sokol, Coby's grandfather.

The borough mailed the Ortiz family this notice, saying they're in violation of an ordinance which prohibits "agricultural operations". In response, Coby's friend Liam Allen organized a protest.

"He has autism, and I feel that it's wrong that they're trying to take away pets away from someone as if it's like your dog.... cause if you're dog is getting taken away, it's kind of silly. It's almost as silly as your ducks getting taken away," said Allen.

Neighbors, friends, and strangers made signs in support of the family, some asking the borough to make an ordinance change.

"I think that if a child is facing some kind of challenges, right, and the parents are doing what they can in order to help these children, you got to bend the rules sometimes or maybe right a new one," said Jose Rodrigez, a neighbor.

The borough did not return a request for comment, and the Ortiz family says they could face a $500 fine per day if the ducks stay on the property.