Getting Ivory’s Goat

by Daisy

Ivory, having read her town’s ordinances carefully, acquired four hens a year ago and recently acquired Lilly who may possibly grow to 2 ft and 50 pounds. (Isn’t she The Cutest Thing Ever?).

Ivory’s town has been meeting about this goat (and her soon to be bought even smaller friend) for almost a month and is suspending permission on all Ivory’s animals pending some bureaucracy. She was confident that this was proceeding in a lengthy, yet positive way until they photographed her yard over her back fence for reports and meetings to which she is not invited and have apparently ceased using the phone to contact her and resorted to brief emails ccd to people she doesn’t know.

Ivory feels bullied.
She would now like to move to the moon.

BUT, perhaps she’s missing something, so she’s appealing to her very intelligent readers (who are also not near as blinded by emotional attachment to tiny goat cuteness) for help in figuring out where she’s gone wrong:

Little House Quiz

§ 10.01 TITLE OF CODE.

All ordinances of a permanent and general nature, as revised, codified, rearranged, renumbered and consolidated into component codes, titles, chapters and sections, shall be known and designated as the “The Code of XXX,” for which designation “Code of Ordinances,” “Codified Ordinances” or “Code” may be substituted. Code title, chapter and section headings do not constitute any part of the law as contained in the code.


(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain one or more horses, mules, cows or hogs in any residential section of the Town within 300 feet of any residence and without the consent of the owner or occupant of such residence and permission from the Board.

1. First, according to 10.01, does the highlighted phrase ‘And The Like’ in the title of 94.03 have any bearing on the law?


For the purpose of making inspections to assure that owners are in compliance with owner requirements listed in § 94.03, the health officer, or his or her authorized representative, shall be authorized to enter, at any reasonable time, any premises.

2. Since I don’t have any of the animals listed in 94.03, why are they taking pictures over my fence? Does 94.08 even apply to me?


Chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and guinea fowl running at large within the Town are declared to be nuisances. No person shall be allowed to keep any such fowl within the Town unless the same are securely fenced and confined to the premises of the owner. Coops and runways shall be kept clean and free from offensive odors.


It shall be unlawful for any person to own, harbor, keep or possess any chickens, ducks, geese, fowl or other birds which by loud and frequent quacking, crowing or cackling or by any other noise disturb the peace or cause annoyance to any of the citizens of the corporation.

3. If I only have four quiet hens, wings clipped, securely fenced, that have generated no noise complaints in the whole year I’ve had them, why are they on the table?

4. What am I missing here?

5. Why is this happening?

6. What on earth am I gonna do?

7. Can I please have a hug?

I understand that the code may need to be rewritten, but it won’t apply to me. Widespread adoption of my ‘green’ living may destroy the ‘character of the town’. The smell of hay and bleats of baby goats and clucking chicks is something many suburbanites may find distasteful. I’m fine with that. But I just don’t understand why under the current code, they’re still deliberating whether or not MY animals are legal.

Somebody say something nice to me. Nicely disagreeing is fine, especially good if you can back it up legally so I can understand what I’m reading wrong.

But any comments that cruelly kick me when I’m down shall be summarily deleted by TL before I even see it, as I’m feeling very vulnerable today.

Ivory 🙁

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sylvia Hatfield June 18, 2009 at 1:11 pm

I just found your wonderful site and have read about your problems with the city. How did it turn out? Did you get to keep Lily? Sounds like some neighbor has been raising hell down at City Hall or they wouldn’t be involved. The same neighbor probably took those pictures.

Please move next to me! I would love to have pet goats and chickens myself and it boggles the mind why anyone would complain. Goats can be pets just like dogs – and chickens, too.

I can understand why neighbors wouldn’t be thrilled about a rooster but with the amount of noise generated by cars, motorcycles and leaf blowers, etc., I think those poorly written ordinances should be updated to include pet goats and softly clucking hens. Hang in there. That neighbor is a crank. He or she probably shoots mockingbirds for singing at night! Sylvia (in a suburb of Los Angeles).

ivorysoap76 June 19, 2009 at 6:37 am

@ Sylvia–In the How to Feed a Goat post I announced that I would get to keep them! And oddly, it wasn’t a neighbor. I had called animal control to verify what I was reading and THEY started the whole head hunt.

Barbara September 30, 2009 at 7:50 pm

It’s about time some of these out-dated and non-green laws were changed. I have been far more irritated at neighbours who let their children run wild than I have ever been irritated by a goat. Yes, by barking dogs but noit because they are barking — because they must be upset and they are barking to signal this. Luckily I live in a rural area where we can have — even HORSES! – for goodness sake but that is because I looked into this carefully before we purchased said 3 acres and dwelling unit. Now I do have to admit, I was slightly irritated by people who had a peacock on the same street. Have you ever heard a peacock? It screams and screams until you think someone is chopping its head off or it is about to chop someone’s head off. THAT, my friends is a nuisance bird. Good luck with your attempt at greening North America.

Crystal March 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm

honestly would that said same neighbour be liking it if you were raising a stink about their cats digging holes and shitting in your flower bed?? probly not.. they really need to grow up

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