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Pygmy goats get reprieve from removal in Tomball

August 8, 2018

Despite charming many customers of Nana’s Main Street Cottage in downtown Tomball, three miniature goats were in danger of being removed after a neighbor complained to the city.

Now, it appears they will be allowed to stay at the antique shop, and property owners across Tomball could soon be allowed to have four pygmy goats each, if a new ordinance receives final approval.

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Tomball’s ordinances ban horses, cattle, sheep, hogs and goats as livestock animals. One exception has been made to potbellied pigs that weigh less than 200 pounds and are shorter than 36 inches in height.

“Goats can range up to 250 pounds. A pygmy is probably 15, maybe 40 pounds at the most. There’s a big difference in size. It’s not even close to being the same animal,” Dan Howes, co-owner of Nana’s, told the city council Monday.

Howes, of Cypress, said the pygmy goats were friendly and docile with visitors. He also said the miniature animals are not a nuisance with loud noises or bad smells and are not dangerous, except for one thing.

“Well, the biggest danger - and I hate to admit this part - is they’re just too darned cute,” he said.

Kerron Dugan of Tomball said the goats are a nuisance.

“A lot of people take their animals to work with them, right? But, they take them home at night. They don’t leave them in a pen behind their business if they’re their pets. I thought we had restrictions where we live. You got to draw the line somewhere for animals. Where is the line drawn for this?” she told the council.

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The new ordinance was approved on first reading by the city council on Monday. It would reclassify pygmy goats as non-livestock animals and require them to be kept at least 20 feet from a home or building.

“It excludes pygmy goats from the livestock standards ordinance and also allows four of them per property,” said Craig Meyers, community development director for Tomball.

Like potbellied pigs, the ordinance would regulate pygmy goats by requiring that males be neutered.

According to the National Pygmy Goat Association, the miniature breed can give birth to one to four kids in a year.

During the meeting, Monique Dermaux with Tomball Goat Yago said the pygmy goats would help promote business in Tomball.

“When you walk in, they welcome you there. You walk to the backyard, you see the goats and they let you pet the goats and they don’t charge you. All I want to do is go back to Tomball to see goats. How can this be bad?” she said.

Nana’s Main Street Cottage received 15 letters of support to adopt the ordinance that would allow the pygmy goats to stay.

Located just east of downtown, the shop sells antiques and is full of welded metal art, furniture and other trinkets.

On Tuesday, the three pygmy goats - Casper, Hershey and Ramsey - at the center of the ordinance, ran in their fenced enclosure behind the store in the backyard.

They ate the hay and pellets offered to them and allowed themselves to be petted.

Howes’ granddaughter, Caitlyn Strenk, first convinced her mother, Tiffany Romero, and the rest of the family to get pygmy goats after writing a presentation on their benefits to the business.

“I had a bunch of pictures of them and then, they fell in love with them because they were so cute,” she said.

The family obtained Casper, a five-month-old pygmy goat with a white goat and horns in mismatched black and white in April.

Hershey, with a brown coat, and Ramsey, in a white and brown coat, were purchased in May from a farm in Magnolia.

All three run, jump and play on a swing, seesaw and pond, that Romero’s son, Logan Strenk, built in three weeks after finishing work as a landscaper.

While the city council members unanimously approved the proposed ordinance on the first reading, it will take a second vote on August 20 at another regular meeting to make it official.

Romero said she hopes to get a fourth pygmy goat and name it GOAT - Greatest Of All Tomball.

mayra.cruz@chron.com

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