The City Council Decides: “Surfing Goats” Are Staying In Pismo Beach
The City Council in Pismo Beach, California, had a meeting on May 20, deciding whether to allow residents to keep goats in the city or not. Pismo Beach resident, Dana McGregor became very famous after teaching three goats how to surf. There are several videos on the web, showing McGregor surfing with his pets. They even have their own website, becoming a real, viral sensation all over the world. Partners of the site are charitable organizations which aim is to help farmers in Africa and provide goats to them.
McGregor got his first goat 3 years ago, although the city code prohibited goats from being kept or raised in city limits and it wasn’t allowed them to be in city parks. Since then, Goatee has become a mom, giving birth to Pismo and Grover and McGregor became attached to them, keeping them as pets. In Pismo Beach, it is legal to temporarily “hire” them to clear the weeds on a small property and McGregor got himself a goat for that particular reason. Keeping cows, horses and sheep is allowed, on condition they are kept on a lot that’s minimum one acre large. Also, people can technically walk goats on the beach, but not in the city.
After receiving four $400 tickets for keeping goats, McGregor quickly learned he wasn’t allowed to have his cute and talented friends. When authorities threatened to “evict” the goats, McGregor said: “I didn’t know it was illegal to bring them in parks. I just thought it was cool. It’s pretty fun. Hopefully, we can work something out.”In January, he asked the City Council to reconsider its rules regarding keeping goats in city limits and come up with some ordinance that would allow this. He was very optimistic, hoping that Council will understand his point of view. According to McGregor, people of Pismo Beach generally love to see his animals and they don’t mind because he’s taking them everywhere.
Luckily, with a 4-1 vote, the Council took pity on McGregor, allowing residents to keep no more than four goats on their property, with the annual permit. Also, the owner is liable for all the injuries and damage that goats may cause. So, McGregor won’t have to move, which he planned to do in case the City Council orders the “eviction” of his furry friends. He can even walk Goatee, Pismo and Grover around the town, on a leash. The ordinance will be up for final approval on June 17.
McGregor’s attorney Matt Janowicz said: “This isn’t just a benefit to Mr. McGregor. There’s a lot of people who would like to have goats.” McGregor and Janowicz are pleasantly surprised by the Council’s decision. However, the permit would be reviewed to determine whether it can continue. Also, the annual permit fee could range from $300 to $350.