JJ Hart's family acquired the chickens before any city zoning issue or controversy surfaced in their community about private ownership of chickens. But after they had been with JJ for a year, JJ's Chickens got packaged into a one year pilot program to regulate them within the City of DeBary, Florida. Then in 2013, the City Council voted to end the program and prohibit chickens, including JJ's Chickens, from being in the city limits anymore. The Hart family hired an attorney and were victorious in this important case for the autism community. In the end, because the chickens were being used for therapy for a person with a disability, JJ's family received a special accommodation from the city council permiting three chickens at a time to be at their property in DeBary, Florida for as long as JJ lives in the home (Orlando Sentinel, December 11, 2013). For more information on this civic disability case visit JJ's Chickens website.
The Autism Daily Newscast reported that "Dr. Emily Forrest, a developmental behavioral pediatrician for Florida Hospital for Children voiced that although chickens are unconventional in the use of Autism therapy as dogs and horses are more commonly used JJ. has bonded with them and made progress (Autism Daily Newscast, December 7, 2013)."
Social Media: If you would like to keep track of JJ's Chickens join the Facebook Group called Save JJ HART's "Ducks".
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The photos in this post were used with permission of Ashleigh Hart.