Just in time for Christmas.
Elderly residents at an assisted living facility north of San Francisco got their duck back, ending a three-month battle for the beloved "Juanita."
The mallard duck became a pet and companion to seniors living at Bello Gardens Assisted Living in San Anselmo.
After a year and a half at Bello Gardens, Juanita flew off on Sept. 16. Staff posted fliers in the neighborhood hoping to find her.
Turns out a neighbor took the duck to the wildcare center in San Rafael
Wildcare staff members said they would not return Juanita to Bello Gardens because federal law prevents people from keeping wild animals as pets.
"The message hasn't changed," said Alison Hermance, Wildcare Bay Area. "We still don't think wild animals should be kept as pets and we're glad we were able to come up with a solution to get Juanita back to the people who are about her."
With the help of a congressman and a trio of animal groups, the seniors gathered the proper licenses to bring Juanita home. Bello Gardens also hired a "duck educator" to create a teaching program around Juanita.
"She is just a sweet duck," Bello Gardens-resident Larita Clark said. "I'm lonely myself so when she comes and sits there I feel good about it."