WEST LAFAYETTE, Ohio (AP) — An Army veteran who was wounded during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

Darin Welker, of West Lafayette, was cited with a minor misdemeanor June 23 for having the ducks in his yard. He is scheduled to appear in Coshocton Municipal Court for a hearing Wednesday and could face a $150 fine.

X started rearing ducks as a form of therapy to get him out of his chair and out of the house while he was recovering from surgery and depression. (Image source: X)

Darin Welker started rearing ducks as a form of therapy to get him out of his chair and out of the house while he was recovering from surgery and depression. (Image source: Coshocton Tribune)

Welker, 36, is afraid he won’t be permitted to keep the ducks, which he says help him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and keep him more active.

The village of West Lafayette, about 80 miles east of Columbus, banned residents from keeping fowl and other farm animals in 2010.

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An Army veteran who was wounded during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic. (AP/Coshocton Tribune, Trevor Jones)

West Lafayette Mayor Jack Patterson declined to comment on Welker’s predicament and referred questions to village police Chief Terry Mardis, who couldn’t be reached for comment.

Welker told the Coshocton Tribune that he’s had the ducks since March. He said they motivate him to get out of the house so he can feed and clean up after them.

“They’re quite a relaxing animal, and they help comfort me in different situations,” Welker recently told the Tribune as he held one duck like a baby and stroked its neck. “[Watching them] keeps you entertained for hours at a time.”

Welker received a citation from the city for violating a code for having fowl and will appear in court this week. (Image source: Coshocton Tribune)

Welker received a citation from the city for violating a code for having fowl and will appear in court this week. (Image source: Coshocton Tribune)

Welker served a year in Iraq with the Army National Guard in 2005 and said he came home with a major back injury that required surgery in 2012.

The Department of Veterans Affairs paid for the back surgery but declined to pay for physical therapy recommended by his surgeon and did not provide him with counseling, he said. That’s partly why he has come to rely on the ducks, he said.

Welker said he’s planning to tell the judge how much the ducks have helped him. He said he has a letter from the VA’s mental health department recommending he be allowed to keep them.

The 14 ducks live in a penned-in area in Welker’s backyard, which also has kiddie pools so they can swim.