July 26, 2009

Neighbors no fans of backyard donkeys

Neighbors of a family in Andover, Mass., say they should not be forced to hear the family's two donkeys bray for food from their backyard home.

Trained biologist Leyla Schimmel said the two donkeys her family houses behind their neo-Colonial house would only bray on the rare occasion her 12-year-old daughter is late in getting the animals their food, The Boston Globe said Sunday.

Schimmel said her neighbors should not have been able to complain about any odors caused by her family's two miniature donkeys, a mother and foal, because she composts the animals' waste.

"It's hard to understand how neighbors could find anything to complain about,'' she told the Globe.

But neighbors complained to town officials, leading authorities to rule the donkeys cannot live on the family's land due to a zoning bylaw.

It would be hard to sell a house with a donkey next door, one unidentified neighbor told the Globe.

If I wanted a donkey, I'd buy a place where it belongs, her husband, whose identity was also not reported, offered.