Oreo The Goat In Jeopardy As East Ridge Mayor Gets No 2nd On Motion

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mayor Brent Lambert tried Thursday night to spare Oreo, but couldn't get a second to his motion to pass an ordinance that grants a special exception for "companion" animals such as the pygmy goat owned by the Jeffery Viar family at the end of Springvale Road.

So for the second time the proposed ordinance that would allow pygmy goats and potbelly pigs within the East Ridge bounds remained tabled.

Mr. Viar earlier had come before the council to plead that Oreo be allowed to stay after getting notice from a city official that he was in violation of the city's existing animal ordinance. He said his two childrens are fond of Oreo as are his close neighbors.

Council members Jim Bethune and Denny Manning spoke against the ordinance. Councilman Bethune said in years past a goat named Snowflake lived nearby. "He stayed over at our place more than at his home." But he said city animal personnel made Snowflake go away.

Councilman Bethune said, "Is this over one pygmy goat and one potbelly pig? If this passes, we'll have a lot of both."

Councilman Manning asked city animal officer Jonathan Cooper, who backs the ordinance, "Have you ever lived next to a goat or a pig? I have and in the summer it's the worst odor you've ever smelled."

He also inquired if Officer Cooper had ever "gone through the door to get some parts at Bohanon's Garage where they've got three or four potbelly pigs?" He said, "You have to hold your nose."

Vice Mayor Larry Sewell and Councilman Darwin Branam did not comment and also did not offer up a second.

Mayor Lambert said he would much rather have a goat or pig next door than someone with a dozen dogs or cats.

Officer Cooper said a number of cities across the country, including Seattle and Knoxville, allow pygmy goats and potbelly pigs.


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