Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Evil Neighbors Win Right to Take Away Autistic Boy's Beloved Pets

Posted by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM
  • 9 Replies

Evil Neighbors Win Right to Take Away Autistic Boy's Beloved Pets

by Nicole Fabian-Weber

chickenAfter 3-year-old J.J. was diagnosed with autism, his doctor suggested he get a pet. After some deliberation, J.J.'s mom, Ashleigh Hart, decided to get him some chickens. And guess what? They did wonders for J.J.! According to Hart, "He's talking more. He still has speech problems but he's talking much better. It's great exercise for him." The family also uses the eggs, both for eating and to teach J.J. new skills. Hart explained that when J.J. squeezes an egg too hard and it breaks, he better understands "cause and effect." Sounds great, right?

Wrong! J.J.'s beloved pet chickens are being taken away from him because the city council in their Florida town voted 3 to 2 that the chicken permit program -- which allowed the family to own chickens for one year -- needs to end. Neighbors aren't really feeling J.J.'s chickens as much as he is -- so much so that the family found decapitated chicks in their backyard. Lovely!

Despite the setback, though, J.J. and his family aren't going down without a fight. They started a petition to extend the program and are looking for help from others. They also created a Facebook group called "SAVE JJ HART'S 'Ducks'" to gain support and petition the ruling. On their petition, they wrote: "JJ is growing leaps and bounds. He is talking, potty trained, and has just a few quirks, but we LOVE THEM. With that said, if no action is taken, he is set to LOSE HIS CHICKENS DECEMBER 31, 2013."

Now, I understand that chickens aren't everyone's cup of tea, but put yourself in J.J.'s parents' position for a moment. Could you imagine having to take something away from your child that they not only love, but that is truly helping them? It seems to me that not only are there some cold people in J.J.'s neck of the woods, but the setup of the initial permit program was flawed. How do you stop something that's helping a child with autism after only one short year?

Hopefully, between the and Facebook petitions, J.J. will be able to keep his chickens, because if not, a sad day is around the corner for both J.J. and his parents. His father put it best when he said that he's "not looking forward to telling his son that they're coming to take his pets away." Heartbreaking.

Do you think J.J. should be able to keep his pet chickens?

by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-9):
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Yes. I understand that in some town they do not allow you to have what is considered "farm"animals-ducks,chickens, pigs{any size} goats{any size} horses,cows,ponies, the list goes on. But if it is helping him I so not see why the city would not make the exception, and even go as far as protecting them. however there has to be another side to this for someone to have cut off a chicken's head{are they too close to neighbor's? are the chicken's causing damage to properties?} and if that is indeed the case then why not have a community farm/garden where other kids too can benefit from this experience and it be away from "evil"neighbors, and possibly out of hte city limits{if that is the case} so there would not be a need for a expemtion? -just a thought

by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM
1 mom liked this
I think they should have gotten him a pet they could have for sure. There must be more to it for the neighbors to be that set against them. It's sad for the kid, I hope something is worked out.
by Darby on Dec. 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM

This is sad....

by Chelle on Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM
I agree they should have gotten a different pet. We have some in our neighborhood who own chickens (which we are sure are against city code) and they are annoying.

There's a million other pets they could have gone with.
by Member on Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

I dont know .. when it says CHICKENS how many is counted in that plural.  If it was A pet chicken I could see it being ok.. BUT this sounds like a flock, especially if they have babies..   Sounds like to me it was the PARENT that created this situation by not checking and seeing what was allowed.. Find another pet in my opinon.. its no different than if a pet died he would have been upset too.

by Amanda on Dec. 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM
I would think the city could allow them to continue having the chickens.
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Chickens are really annoying creatures, and I've had them growing up and my neighbors around here all have them.

I personally wouldn't have a problem with it, but I live in the country for a reason, sadly, chickens don't belong in a regular neighborhood and most people who live in it, will have low tolerance for animals they don't want around.

As much as I'd like to say I hope the boy gets to keep his pets, the parents might want to consider moving to a place where neighbors aren't anti-chicken.

by Gold Member on Dec. 12, 2013 at 1:20 AM
First, I think "evil" is a little extreme here lol. Chickens can be annoying...loud, smelly, etc. I think they might want to think about a different pet, like a dog or cat. Or even a guinea pig or something. Chickens as pets is hard for me to wrap my brain around
by on Dec. 13, 2013 at 8:05 AM

I think the parents messed up getting him attached to animals before they made sure that they could keep them. That certainly doesn't excuse anyone who decapitated the chickens though.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)