10/15/2012 11:42 am ET Updated Oct 16, 2012

Therapy Chickens Beheaded In Florida In Crime Against 2-Year-Old With Autism

The family of a two-year-old toddler with autism awoke on Saturday to find four of their son's therapy chickens beheaded.

Police in Debary, Fla., say that they have no leads on who or what killed JJ Hart's beloved birds, which he called his "ducks," the boy's mom told WESH.

Ashley Hart said that the therapy chickens had helped her son cope with autism and develop social skills.

"He's actually socializing and babbling. I don't know how he's going to react to this," Ashley Hart said. "I don't know if he is even going to be able to understand.”

The lethal attack comes just two days after the city of Debary's code enforcement board ruled that the family could not keep its livestock, which still includes a baby chick and four hens. The family has 60 days to appeal that decision.

"Well, there are a lot of people I don't trust these days," Ashely Hart said.

Hart said she's had no problems with neighbors and doesn't know who could have killed the birds, according to the AP.

Clarification: The headline has been adjusted to indicate that J.J. Hart had no role in the chickens' death.



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