Vote for goats! Goats are the new dogs in Michigan!

Mini goats could be coming to a town near you!

Cities like Denver, Portland and Seattle have adopted ordinances allowing mini goat ownership, but now, there’s the House Bill 5609 sponsored by state Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, would not require counties to license mini goats or require cities to allow them, but it would provide those options in communities that want them.

Essentially, the bill re-designates mini goats from a farm animal into a pet. Miniature goats make great pets and good milk, according to testimony Wednesday before a Michigan House panel, which is considering legislation that would allow counties to license the small animals like dogs in non-farm settings. Licensing dwarf and pygmy goats would promote responsible ownership while allowing the urban farming movement room to grow in Michigan, according to Todd Tennis of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.

Robert Peña, a Lansing resident who lives on the east side of the city, told committee members that he had hosted mini goats on his property for a couple weeks without incident. They pair stood about 20 inches tall, weighed about 35 pounds and were generally well received in the neighborhood. Fencing prevented escapes, and even though he didn’t notice any smell, Peña said he commissioned a neighbor to groom them on a regular basis. “There’s a humanistic side to this,” he told lawmakers. “The goat is not really a dog, not really a cat and not really a horse. But if you want to describe the disposition of the goat, it’s pretty much all of those things.”

So are goats the new dogs? Would you get a goat?

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