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St-Lazare man wants permission to keep 2 donkeys, llama on his property

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A man living in St-Lazare has been told he can keep his horses, but his donkeys and llama must leave.

Richard Lacroix lives in an equestrian zone, yet wants the municipality to make an exception for him. He has kept horses for three decades.

Richard Lacroix has two donkeys and a llama on his property in St-Lazare, Que. (Christine Long/CTV News)

His more recent rescues — two donkeys and a llama — don't fit into the municipal equestrian zoning rules in his area.

"The donkeys, they eat like a horse and make the same type of litter, they eat the same food type. I mean, to me doesn't make sense," he said.

Lacroix says the zoning changed since he moved in and wants special permission to keep the animals and plans to offer a zootherapy service onsite with them.

"We will start to be at ease, you know, start touching them, talking to them, and they respond with the attention we give them," he explained.


Provincial environmental regulations dictate that Lacroix's horse paddock needs to be 30 metres from the nearest well, so he moved it.

Now he hopes an arrangement can be made for his animals, Lemon, Choco and Zorro.

"If, let's say, they're giving me some conditions that I would respect," he said.

Lacroix has not been fined, but has been flagged by city inspectors.

When contacted by CTV News, a spokesperson at St-Lazare city hall said since this is an ongoing file, the city will not comment directly on the matter, adding that the presence of farm animals in that area is not allowed.

"They are happy here and we can not change that," he said, adding, "I'd rather move than part with them."

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