No one who lives in a residential neighborhood expects to see a giant herd of goats rush past their front window.
But when the residents of Edwall, Washington saw 200 escaped goats bounding down the street, they did have some sense of what to do.
Herd them to the dog park.
If this doesn’t sound like a typical day in your neighborhood, you’re not alone.
But one of their neighbors is Healing Hooves Natural Vegetation Management, a company that maintains a large herd of goats for those who need to remove vegetation from their land the natural way.
Rental goats are great for removing grass and weeds since they can traverse rough terrain and maintain balance – and they’re always hungry.
According to their website:
“Healing Hooves maintains a healthy herd of goats that will graze your land and rid it of invasive weeds and other vegetation.”
Luckily, the residents didn’t get too much “free landscaping” during the surprise escape.
And while Healing Hooves had discussed with neighbors what to do if a goat ever got loose, they could have never imagined the whole herd taking off.
The hilarious invasion happened after the normally well-behaved goats got a little feisty one evening. In fact, their owners, Craig Madsen and Sue Lani Madsen, had been planning to move them to a new pen the next morning.
Perhaps they weren’t ready for the move, because they hoofed it down the street instead.
“They decided they wanted to move sooner,” Sue Lani Madsen told The Dodo. “Probably one jostled another and a fence post was knocked over. One saw the opening and the rest followed.”
The goats then poured out into the neighborhood.
Some were happy to take the sidewalk while others teetered across the well-manicured lawns.
Fortunately, they all headed in the same direction.
The real criminal in this escape? Gigi, a livestock guardian dog (LGD), who trailed behind the escaped landscaping crew.
Here’s Gigi, being adorable, but doing a pretty poor job of herding:
Mark Svendsen, who was in his car at the time, caught most of the hilarious ordeal on a video that’s well worth watching (and which you can find by scrolling down below).
He captured the first part of the invasion as the goats safely crossed the road and made a bee-line down a house-lined street, with a few stragglers trotting along for the exciting escapade.
The goats didn’t seem to be headed anywhere in particular (which seems like bad planning on their part), so when the neighbors got themselves organized, it wasn’t too much of a challenge to herd them all into the local dog park.
When the herd’s handlers showed up, they managed to get them contained along with the help of Gigi and her canine partner Nessie.
“Neighbors immediately started trying to keep them out of yards and kept them moving … and led to the Bark Park. Really handy to have a fully fenced dog park nearby and on the route they seemed to want to go!” Madsen said.
According to The Dodo, the whole ordeal only lasted about 30 minutes “before they were mostly all back where they belonged.”
In any case, no humans or goats were harmed in the great breakout and rescue. But we’re a bit concerned for this hydrangea, which did not escape entirely unscathed.
Of course, things could have been worse since the neighborhood does have some ornamental plants that can be toxic to goats, but it seems that no one stopped for a snack.
Be sure to scroll down below to see the video of what is sure to be the most amusing 39 seconds of your day!
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