The Lanum family of Barnesville, Minnesota is trying to save their pet Pekin ducks, Winnie and Babbles. They found the duck eggs more than a year and a half ago and have raised them ever since.
Now, the Lanums have been told by city officials that they have 30 days to get rid of the ducks because they violated a city ordinance. The city of Barnesville classifies only dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters and caged birds as permissible household pets in town. All other animals are prohibited.
The family contacted city officials about the possibility of changing the law. The city officials voted 5-to-1 against changing the current ordinance at its June meeting.
The mayor of Barnesville says that the city has concerns of what may occur in the future if they did permit the Lanums to keep their ducks. The city council is afraid that there would be a floodgate of different animals that they city would have to deal with.
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The Lanums are not giving up the fight to keep their pets. They also are worried that their ducks would not survive on a farm if they had to give them up.
To help keep the ducks, the Lanums have started a campaign featuring signs with slogans, â€œThink twice: Barnesville bans most pets,â€ and the Web site www.savebarnesvillepets.com asking for residents to sign a petition.
While Bauer [the mayor] said the city council is going to stand by its decision, the possibility of changing the ordinance is still possible if there is overwhelming public support, something he currently doesnâ€™t see.
In an unpublished letter to the editor sent to The Forum, Lanumâ€™s passion was evident by the words he wrote.
â€œI love my animals like my own kids, and theyâ€™ll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands before I give them up,â€ Lanum wrote in the letter.
â€œThatâ€™s basically saying that Iâ€™m not going to give them up,â€ Lanum said.