Like many veterans, one Marine veteran in Illinois has a few support animals. In this select case, however, the animals just happen to be chickens.
Luke Villotti, who lives about an hour outside of Chicago with his wife and kids, told the Chicago Tribune that his 20 chickens help with his depression and pain from injuries he suffered during training.
And while the Veterans Administration approved his need for these support animals, his neighbors aren’t too happy about it, and have raised concerns about odor, noise and disease, the newspaper reported.
The Villottis said they keep their flock extra clean because the chickens are important to their family and are around their children.
Residents from the neighborhood met to discuss the issue, with most neighbors taking a stance against the chickens.
On Monday, another board meeting was held where Villotti spoke to his neighbors directly.
“The fact is I was in the U.S. Marine Corps and my future has been taken away from me, my job, my health and now my support chickens are being taken away?” Villotti said at the meeting, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The family invited anyone to visit their home and see if they smell or hear the animals.
“I grew up here but I have never seen this,” resident Tom Jones said. “If you can’t be open-minded for this man who served his country maybe you shouldn’t be on the board. You really can’t decide by rolling your eyes. We stood there for 30 minutes and there was no noise, we couldn’t smell anything.”
The neighborhood’s administrator said the subdivision is working with Villotti on a resolution.