Elderly Couple May Lose Their Home… For Feeding Ducks

An elderly couple in Cypress, Texas, has put their home up for sale after being threatened with foreclosure for feeding baby ducks. George Rowe, 72, and wife Kathleen, 65, may lose their home of over a decade. It’s all because of a lawsuit from their local Homeowners Association.

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The couple moved into their home, which is across from a waterway, about 11 years ago. They moved in after their only child, a daughter, passed away. Kathleen then found solace in feeding the ducks who crossed in front of the house. But the Lakeland Community HOA says that Kathleen violated rules. Now, they want to foreclose on the house.

Feeding wildlife has dangerous repercussions for humans and wildlife alike. It can cause nutritional imbalances in the wildlife and teach them to seek out human food, which leads to more problems. Locals in the area have complained of the ducks tearing up their lawns and defecating on their properties. They blame this on Kathleen’s actions.

Kathleen Rowe Lost Her Only Child, Finds Ducks Therapeutic

However, Kathleen has said that she believes many of the ducks there are not native and were in fact from a pet shop. If true, she doesn’t think that they can survive on their own, so she decided to step in and help them. According to the couple’s attorney, Richard Weaver, Kathleen Rowe also finds it therapeutic to feed the ducks because she lost her only child.

The Lakeland Community HOA filed the suit in the Harris County Civil Court in June. The suit requested  a“permanent mandatory injunction requiring Defendants to cease from feeding any wildlife.” It also claims that the duck-feeding practice “runs afoul of the general plan and scheme of Subdivision,” causing “imminent harm and irreparable injury to the Plaintiff.”

Richard Weaver thinks that the lawsuit is ridiculous. He said that the HOA is using a “common threat to an uncommon situation,” as these kinds of lawsuits have happened before with situations such as an unpermitted building.

“I’m a board-certified real estate attorney, and this lawsuit is truly the silliest lawsuit I’ve ever seen in my practice,” Weaver said. “This attorney has essentially claimed that feeding ducks is either noxious or offensive — I think that’s an incredible statement.”

Weaver also said that he’s going to work hard to challenge the lawsuit. “I understand that maybe some people in the neighborhood want these ducks not to be in their community,” he said. “But just from a human being perspective, we have worse things going on in the world.”

The Rowes preemptively put their house on the market when they were slapped with the lawsuit. It’s still unclear what will happen, but they want to stay where they are.

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