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Colorado Springs City Council hears plea to include mini goats as pets

April 7, 2014 Updated: April 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm
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photo - Penelope the mini goat in front of Colorado Springs City Hall. (Photo by Monica Mendoza)
Penelope the mini goat in front of Colorado Springs City Hall. (Photo by Monica Mendoza) 

Monycka Snowbird's two miniature goats produce about 14 gallons of milk each month for her family. If she bought that milk in a grocery store, it would cost about $224, she said.

Not only is goat milk expensive, it's important to Snowbird that she produce her own food.

Snowbird spoke to the Colorado Springs City Council on Monday, urging members to include mini goats in the city's definition of a pet.

A change in the city ordinance would mean she could have up to four miniature goats in her backyard in southeast Colorado Springs.

The change in the city's pet ordinance is sponsored by council member Jill Gaebler, who said there is a growing interest in urban gardening and farming.

"More people want to use their land to produce their own food," she said.

Her proposal is to change the definition of a pet to include "any hoofed animal."

But don't expect to see a heifer in your neighbor's yard.

The ordinance limits the hoofed animal to less than 100 pounds. At the moment, that definition only applies to goats.

Under the current city law, residents can only have hoofed animals if their property is close to 1 acre in size or they are approved for a special permit.

Snowbird argues that mini goats are smaller than some dogs. Her goats - Penelope and Clementine - weigh 50 pounds and 45 pounds respectively and are as much beloved pets as they are milk producers. They are leash-trained, go on walks and "they ride in the car better than my dogs do," she said.

She added the goats don't stink, and they are not noisy. "A bleating goat is not as loud as a barking dog," she said.

Under the proposed rule change, she would register them with the city's animal control services.

"Some people might argue that their property value would go down," she said. But cities with high property values such as San Diego and Portland allow miniature goats within the city limits.

"If property value was an issue, there would be an immediate push to get those ordinances repealed," Snowbird said.

If the council approves the change in the city's pet ordinance, one household could have up to four miniature goats, or a combination of eight cats, dogs and mini goats.

The issue was introduced during the council's work session but has not gone to the council for a vote.

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