An Ohio family calls its two alpacas therapy pets. A neighbor calls the animals a nuisance.
Scott Westberg, of Stow, has until Sunday to relocate the animals -- Loratta, a milk chocolate-colored alpaca, and her vanilla-colored offspring, Scooby, MyTownNEO reported.
Brendan Mackin, Stow’s assistant law director, said the animals are considered livestock, and state and city ordinances do not “provide for this type of (emotional support) exception,” WEWS reported.
Westberg claims the alpacas provide emotional support for his fiancee, Sigridur “Sigga” Jackson, and their 12-year-old son, Magnus, the television station reported. Westberg said the animals were quieter than dogs and left droppings that were not as offensive as canines’ droppings, the television station reported.
The neighbor disagreed, writing a letter Jan. 3 to Stow Planning Director Rob Kurtz and city officials that asserted that his neighbors, “have turned their backyard into a pasture,” MyTownNEO reported.
Scooby is registered as an emotional support animal, Westberg told the website, while he is registering Loratta as a therapy animal through Pet Partners.
Jackson said the alpacas ease her depression and her son’s attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“I had been diagnosed with depression in the past and the love and comfort that I get from them, especially during stressful times, helps me more than any medications I have been prescribed,” Jackson told MyTownNEO. “And (the alpacas) provide no negative side effects.”
Westberg said he has been raising llamas and alpacas for more than 20 years. He wants to reach a settlement with his disgruntled neighbor, WEWS reported.
“We want to and are willing to do anything within reason to make peace with (our neighbor), such as planting tall evergreen trees or extending our privacy fence into the woods,” Westberg told the television station.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.