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Cuero's got its goat

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
June 23, 2011 at 1:23 a.m.

A female goat has been kept at the Cuero Animal Control Shelter for more than two weeks after animal control officers found her wandering about town. She is the third goat picked up by animal control officers in recent months.

CUERO - In a town that worships a turkey and embraces the myth of the chupacabra, goats can't seem to catch a break.

The city's animal control department has a Boer goat in "custody." The goat, complete with long, curved horns, is available for adoption. It's the third goat that has been in the city impound in recent months.

"This one was just walking around town and doesn't seem to have an owner," said Chester Kitchens, senior animal control officer. "I think it probably came off someone's livestock trailer."

Of the two previous goats that were locked up, one was at large and one was "staked out to fend for itself," said Kitchens.

It is legal to have goats, or any other livestock, inside the city of Cuero, Kitchens explained.

"First you have to get a permit," he said. "The property has to be inspected to be sure there is enough space for the animal to be safe."

City ordinance requires no less than 1,600 square feet of ground space for each goat or other livestock. The ordinance includes requirements for fencing, distance livestock must be kept from neighbors and cleanliness.

"There has been a problem with people tying off animals to graze for themselves," Kitchens said. "They need to keep them restrained on their own property and not tie them off on the side of the road."

Goats in custody present a couple of different requirements than the dogs and cats usually housed at Cuero animal control.

"They'll eat anything including hay, but I also feed him goat feed," said Kitchens. "They also have different 'restroom' requirements. Some have to have hay to go."

Goats aren't the only unusual "inmates" that have been housed at the animal control facility that sits near the Cuero Collection Center and the Cuero airport.

Kitchens has had a pot-bellied pig, skunks, possums and raccoons. The wild animals are most often released back into the country, Kitchens said.

The city does have a five-day euthanasia policy, but Kitchens admits he tries to hold onto the animals for as long as possible to give owners the opportunity to claim them.

He kept the last goat for two months and the current resident has been in custody about two weeks.

"We prefer not to ever euthanize any of them," said Cuero Police Chief Jay Lewis, whose department oversees animal control.

As for the current goat that's locked up, maybe being behind lock and key isn't the worst thing that could happen to it in an area known for chupacabra sightings.

The name of the mythical beast comes from the its reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood - of goats.



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