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War Veteran Can Keep Ducks To Relieve PTSD: City Council

23 July 2017, 9:27 am EDT By Athena Chan Tech Times
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A war veteran is finally allowed to keep his therapeutic ducks. Photographed is Darin Welker with one of the ducks in his West Lafayette property.   ( Coshocton Tribune )

After finding himself in the middle of a legal dispute in 2014, a war veteran has finally been allowed to keep his therapeutic ducks. The West Lafayette city council has decided to let him keep the ducks that help him cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Army Veteran In Distress

Darin Welker got a misdemeanor conviction in 2014 after evidently defying a city ordinance barring farm animals within the village limits. Welker, who served in Iraq in 2005, wanted to keep six of his ducks at the time and at one point even reportedly had 14 ducks.

Now, city council members have decided to allow Welker to keep his ducks after he presented an affidavit of facts from his primary care physician stating the therapeutic purpose of the ducks.

In Dr. Thomas Hanf's letter, he states that Welker had been making great progress with his physical pains in the last five years but had been struggling with his PTSD, something that taking care of the ducks helped him cope with.

In addition to the letter, Welker also presented the court with multiple signed letters from his neighbors assuring that they do not have any problems with the ducks and would not mind if he kept them. Further, Welker describes how taking care of the ducks is also a form of physical therapy for a back injury that he got surgery for in 2012.

Evidently, he had already previously mentioned in 2014 that while the Department of Veteran Affairs covered the costs for his back injury, he did not receive any physical or mental therapy which is why he turned to taking care of the ducks.

In an effort to finally conclude the matters at hand, the city council had a special meeting last Tuesday where the council voted 5-1 in favor of Welker.

"Taking care of them is both mental and physical therapy," said Welker about the ducks.

PTSD

PTSD is a disorder which some people develop after having a scary, shocking, or dangerous experience. Essentially, people with PTSD continue to experience the fear or stress even long after they are no longer in danger.

Signs of PTSD vary from one person to another, as some people will experience symptoms within three months after the event, while others may experience symptoms years after the traumatic incident. Further, while others are able to recover from PTSD after six months, others may experience the condition for much longer periods.

Symptoms of PTSD include staying away from places, thoughts, or feelings related to the traumatic experience, having flashbacks that result in physical symptoms such as heart racing and sweating, having frightening thoughts, and having bad dreams. Others may also experience sudden bursts of anger, feeling tense or being easily startled, difficulty sleeping, having feelings of shame or guilt, having negative thoughts about the world, and general loss of interest in supposedly enjoyable activities.

It is important to note that not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will have PTSD, but that anyone who has been through traumatic incidences can experience PTSD.

Treatments for PTSD include medication and therapy.

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