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Man sues county to keep pet goat, ducks, chickens

Saturday - 2/11/2012, 8:05am  ET

CHESAPEAKE CITY, Md. (AP) - A Chesapeake City man has filed a federal suit against Cecil County claiming its order to get rid of his pet goat, six chickens and two ducks violates his freedom of religion.

In a suit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Craig Balunsat says caring for the animals promotes living in harmony with nature. He tells the Cecil Whig that the goat, named Snowbird, is part of a native American ritual.

Balunsat says he is of Filipino heritage, but has adopted a native American religion.

County law states that to raise or house animals other than dogs or cats, a resident must own an acre of property. Balunsat's land is only three-quarters of an acre.

A Cecil County official said the county has not seen the lawsuit.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)