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RICHLAND, Pa. – A 12-year-old autistic boy can keep his pet ducks, for now.

A judge in Lebanon County ruled last week in favor of Colby Ortiz and his family in a dispute with the borough of Richland over eight ducks the boy keeps in his backyard.

Colby’s mother tells the Reading Eagle the boy has become more sociable and outgoing since the family got the ducks.

The dispute has lasted two years.

Under last week’s ruling, the ducks must be kept inside or in an enclosure with a fence high enough to prevent them from escaping.

Colby’s family will have to provide annual doctor’s certifications that the ducks are needed for therapeutic help.

The town has 30 days to appeal. The newspaper couldn’t reach the borough’s mayor or solicitor for comment.

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