East Ridge Turns Down Amnesty For Oreo, Belle, Fat Boy; Goat's Owner May Move To Georgia

Thursday, November 8, 2012
Jeff Viar was headed home to tell his children they can't keep Oreo in East Ridge
Jeff Viar was headed home to tell his children they can't keep Oreo in East Ridge

The East Ridge City Council on Thursday night turned down amnesty for Oreo the pygmy goat. And for Belle and Fat Boy, the pot-bellied pigs.

City Attorney John Anderson had drawn an ordinance that would grant "amnesty" to the trio of "companion animals." The owners would have a 60-day period in which to pay a $50 fee to register their animals as exemptions to the city's livestock law. The special ordinance would only apply to the three animals and the owners would be barred from letting them breed and could not replace them when they died.

But no one on the council was willing to make the motion and it died.

Oreo's owner Jeff Viar, who brought his young daughter and son to the meeting and took them home before the decision, said afterward, "I'll have to go home and explain to my two kids that they can't keep their family pet."

He said earlier that his neighbors at the end of Springvale Road all wanted to see Oreo stay.

The lifelong East Ridge resident noted that he rents the house where Oreo has been a happy tenant for two years and he will likely move to Georgia.

Attorney Anderson said when he brought up the issue with Municipal Technical Assistance Service (MTAS) officials, "Their first question was, 'Is Oreo saved?'"

He said there has been a "cultural change" in acceptance of such animals as pgymy goats and pot-bellied pigs. He said, "Oreo weighs 35 pounds and my dog is 50 pounds."

The attorney said "plenty of cities," including Knoxville, allow such animals.

He said if Vietnam War deserters could be granted amnesty, then a goat could. Councilman Denny Manning said he took exception to that analogy. Councilman Jim Bethune, who served in Vietnam, said he didn't.

Mayor Brent Lambert said he had favored an earlier ordinance that would have allowed such animals in East Ridge. He said many "more urban cities than East Ridge" do so.

Oreo
Oreo
- Photo2 by Wes Schultz


No Injuries Reported In Apartment Fire Friday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire in North Chattanooga shortly before  10 a.m.  on Friday.   When firefighters arrived at 316 Chambliss Street, light smoke was showing from the quadplex. Battalion Chief Chris Warren said the fire appears to have started on the backside of one of the apartments. Chief Warren said a neighbor was ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Managed Hunting Is Necessary In Maintaining A Stable Deer Population - And Response

I enjoy seeing the whitetail deer that we have in so many areas here in East Tennessee, but here in Hamilton County we have been approaching the maximum habitat sustainability in some places including the Enterprise South area. I make this statement due to the fact that I have seen up to 20 deer driving around in Hixson in one evening during the summer. I believe that TWRA is doing ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – There were tears on both sides of the court at MTSU’s Murphy Center Thursday afternoon. There were tears of relief and joy for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders while the tears for the Briarcrest Lady Saints represented heartbreak and disappointment. Such is the case when two really good volleyball teams meet for the second straight year for a D-II Class AA ... (click for more)

Lanters Are Latest Sister Acts Leading Lady Flames Teams

When one looks back on the success of the Lee University women’s soccer program over the past 16 years, it is easy to see what sisters have provided. Records show the surge began in 2001 and continues today with senior Summer and freshman Anna Lanter (former Soddy Daisy High School standouts) helping spark the Lady Flames to a current 8-4 overall mark and 7-2 in the rugged Gulf ... (click for more)