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Wilmington residents can have farm animals as emotional support animals in their homes

Chickens, pigs and even oxen are now allowed, with a state certification, to be a Wilmingtonian's emotional support animal--so long as they stay inside the home.

Councilmen Nnamdi Chukwucha presented the proposal to council, and on its third reading and after some back-and-forth debate, it's now become a city law. The controversial measure passed in a vote 9-3, with 1 absent. 

"This substitute ordinance is designed to provide residents and visitors of our city, with access to the resources needed to help them alleviate and cope with emotional and mental disabilities with their support animals," explained Chukwucha.

However, Chukwucha did get a little heat from some council members.  Councilman Bob Williams called it a "slippery slope."

"Wilmington has 99 problems and cuddling a farm animal just ain't one of them," said Councilman Bob Williams.  "Once we open this barn door and the menagerie is cut loose, we can't stop it because we can't even ask the person if it's a certified animal; you're prohibited from even asking them; you're prohibited from asking whether there's a documented need.  We're going to put that burden on L&I who is going to have a horrific time trying to prosecute these cases."

Councilwoman Loretta Walsh also didn't support the measure.  Read More