What do you do if you want to have a unicorn as a pet in your backyard? Last month, when six-year-old Madeline, from California, told her mum that she wanted a unicorn for her birthday, she was encouraged to write a letter to the county to seek permission first.
“Dear LA County, I would like your approval if I can have a unicorn in my backyard if I can find one," Madeline wrote to the county, according to a tweet, posted on December 6, by the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (LADACC).
According to a report from LAist.com, a local nonprofit news service: “Madeline’s family has four pets already — three fish and a peachy-white hamster named Caramel. But none of them match the skills a unicorn could bring to the household. For example, their horns’ ability to emit shooting stars, according to Madeline’s research.”
The first grader (whose last name has not been identified for privacy) and her family were pleasantly surprised when the LADACC responded with a pre-approved unicorn licence with a heart-shaped “Permanent Unicorn Licence” tag.
"Also, because they are indeed very rare to find, we gave her the unicorn pictured below as she continues her search," added the LADACC in their tweet, sharing a picture of a stuffed toy they sent to the little girl.
The licence also came with a letter from the LADACC Director Marcia Mayeda. It spelled out the terms and conditions of taking care of a unicorn in compliance with Los Angeles County Title 10, which outlines how stable-bound livestock should be tended.
The letter told Madeline that the unicorn needs ample access to sunlight, moonbeams, and rainbows. And, any sparkles or glitter used to decorate the unicorn, must be biodegradable.
It also noted that the pet needed weekly feedings of watermelon, and monthly horn polishing.
Mayeda added in her letter: "It is always rewarding to hear from young people who thoughtfully consider the requirements of providing a loving home to animals. I commend your sense of responsible pet ownership to seek permission in advance to keep a unicorn in Los Angeles County.”
Social media users were touched by the heartwarming response from the LADACC.
Facebook user Olga Horne wrote: “That's the sweetest thing I've ever seen….”
And, Twitter user @AbgdaSantiago posted: “I love the humanity! Your office is to be commended for taking the time to answer her and make her day!”
Another tweep, @AuntCharleen replied: “Oh my goodnes.... What a sweet thing to do for this little girl!”
According to the LAist.com report, Madeline was also surprised with a unicorn licence ceremony on her seventh birthday in December.
The Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation (LACACF), a nonprofit supporting the LADACC, has launched a Madeline’s Magical Unicorn Fund, so that inspired donors can get a unicorn licence and certificate of their own, while helping animals in need. The licences will be granted to donors who give $25 (Dh91.81) or more, according to their official website.