Mom Fights to Keep Therapy Chickens for Her Autistic Son
Five chickens are what kept ten-year-old Anthony Frushon healthy and happy, but now, the Brownsburg, Indiana boy might not be able to keep his fowl friends.
Anthony, who is autistic, finally found healing from his OCD, anxiety, and sleeping disorder by feeding, cleaning, training, and spending time with the five hens his family adopted in May. But, according to his mother, Sherri Frushon, his time with the birds might be cut short because of a town law.
“I registered them as emotional support therapy birds for him. I called the town to let them know and that’s when I was told that the birds would have to go, that there’s an ordinance,” Frushon told FOX News 59.
Brownsburg does not allow chickens where the Frushons live without prior consent. Frushon disagrees with the law because the chickens are therapy animals.
Although therapy with chickens might be considered unconventional compared to dog and cat therapy, a recent study proved that chickens possess a capacity to empathize, which might explain Anthony’s connections to the birds, who, according to Frushon, “nuzzle” him.
Frushon said that she was originally told by a town employee that she would have to get rid of the birds within 10 days or face a $2,500 fine. However, Todd Barker, Brownsburg’s planning director, denies Frushon was told to get rid of the birds, but instead that she would need to go through the appropriate channels of the getting the chickens approved, including obtaining neighbors’ approval and paying the required $600 fee.
Regardless, Frushon is taking her cause to social media and started an online petition to keep the birds, which has received over 37,000 signatures.
Of the chicken therapy, Frushon said, “I just know it works.”
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