Nashville Now Accepts Backyard Chickens, But What About Goats?

Zoey can be seen walking around the Woodbine neighborhood with her owner, Mark Bigbie. Credit: Bigbie family

Zoey can be seen walking around the Woodbine neighborhood with her owner, Mark Bigbie. Credit: Bigbie family

One family in Woodbine has received a stern warning from Nashville authorities – get rid of the goat. A pet goat is testing a Metro ordinance designed to keep farmyard animals out of the city.

After receiving a complaint, a Metro Animal Control officer warned the owner that he had 10 days to find a new home for the goat or apply for a special permit. The goat was never seized.

A petition is now circulating to “Free Zoey.”

“She’s our mascot, not a threat to society and in fact, brings so much joy to us,” the petition reads.

More than a hundred people signed on.

“Better things than be accomplished with your time than taking a pet away from an owner that obviously cares for it,” writes LeAnne Abell. “Concentrate on the animal abusers.”

A Metro ordinance prevents the raising of livestock – including goats – in the urban services district. The Metro Council recently had to make an exception for backyard chickens, though even they have to get a permit.

Metro Animal Control official Brent Hager says exceptions are made to the livestock restrictions, though not if an animal is being raised for slaughter.

“I think if somebody’s purpose in keeping it there was just to grill it out one night, I don’t think the director would issue that permit,” he said.

Hager says if Zoey really is a pet goat, and the neighbors don’t mind, she can probably stay. He says the city made a similar exception for a potbelly pig in recent years.

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