Homeless Goat Patrol

Homeless Goat Patrol

Provided by: NBC News at 11 Alive News

Last Modified: 10/20/2007 11:25:13 AM

  I was thinking about the plight of Wanderingvet reduced to camping on the hillsides of this great country that has managed somehow to neglect our most needy heroes and then I remembered something I wrote some time ago.    I know he would not take advantage of this situation, but I’m sure some homeless would.   I thought my readers might be interested anyway.A herd of goats is being used to clear away the thick brush on the hills surrounding the Corona Heights neighborhood.  A San Francisco neighborhood has come up with a unique way to ward off homeless squatters.A herd of goats is being used to clear away the thick brush on the hills surrounding the Corona Heights neighborhood. The thickets are popular with the homeless, who set up camps in the brush.Many residents worry that their campfires could spark brush fires, while others complain that dirty needles and other trash is often left behind. The goats have already eaten enough grass, shrubs and small trees to expose several campsites.Residents say using the goats to clear the brush is a gentle way to encourage the homeless campers to move along. Once the goats eat the brush that provides them with shelter and camouflage, the squatters are much less likely to camp on the hillsides.Oldtimer’s Comment: This may be a way to reduce the possiblity of fire on particular hillsides but it is not a practical way to fix the homeless “problem”. The homeless will simply move on down the road a little, the goats will eat up the homeowner’s shrubs and wander into the roads and cause wrecks. Meanwhile a few homeless have the opportunity for some fine dinner roasts.  If the goats are confined to fenced areas on the hillside, eventually the vegitation will be reduced to the point the hillside erodes and possibly comes down.  

When I earlier said “Goats will eat all the way to the ground and even pull stuff up by the roots.” I was wrong.  See Goatlady’s comments below.   This statement is hereby retracted.

You can’t fix problems with ideas that just seem good.  This idea is self-serving for the landowners and designed to hurt the homeless rather than help.   Meantime we need to find compassionate ways to help our homeless neighbors. 


Here is tragic news about goats from LiveLeak.com:

More than 240 goats were killed Friday morning when a big-rig carrying them tipped over in San Rafael’s Canal area.
Many of the animals, en route to clear vegetation in Mill Valley, suffocated when the rig overturned near Irene Street on “The Loop” traffic route, police said.

The truck, owned by Orinda-based Goats R Us, was transporting about 400 animals from Milpitas to the Golden Gate Theological Seminary when the driver pulled off the freeway for a cup of coffee, police said.

Most of these goats did not have to die.  Some were noticed escaping from the back of the truck and so the truck was closed up and the result was a few dozen got loose, but hundreds killed from suffocation afterward because they could not get out.  Another idea to fix a problem that just seemed good but horribly wrong.

Apparently packing them in tightly is the approved way to transport them, how convienent.    


4 responses to “Homeless Goat Patrol

  1. Its a wonder the homeless are not saying “can you tie some steak sauce to the next one”. But of course it is again the manifestation of those that have against the have nots. These people must be really desperate since there must be something wrong that they could not get enforcement from somewhere else. This is a True Case of Class Hatred that they have to set goats against humanity. These people in San Francisco should be so ashamed.

  2. (Goats will eat all the way to the ground and even pull stuff up by the roots.)

    This is a FALSE statement- Goats BROWSE like deer.. they do NOT graze like sheep.. this comment is incorrect. Do your research before making false statements..
    I spend my time trying to educate people about goats because I am tired of the bad rap they have gotten all these years- I have raised goats for 17 years – and do my part to
    Promote the Goat™

  3. Sorry if I offended any goats. What do you think about using goats to roust out the homeless? Are you promoting the goats (is that at TM infringement?) for homeless meals as well? What do the goats eat when fenced in and all the brush is gone?

    All I know about goats is that my wife’s first cousen had at least 12 in their fenced side field and there was nothing on the ground after a while but goat poop and they had to bring stuff in to feed them.

    Wikipedia says this (and if it is wrong, you can change it)

    “Goats are reputed to be willing to eat almost anything. The digestive systems of a goat allow nearly any organic substance to be broken down and used as nutrients.

    Contrary to this reputation, they are quite fastidious in their habits, preferring to browse on the tips of woody shrubs and trees, as well as the occasional broad leaved plant. However, it can fairly be said that goats will eat almost anything in the botanical world. Their plant diet is extremely varied and includes some species which are toxic or detrimental to cattle and sheep. This makes them valuable for controlling noxious weeds and clearing brush and undergrowth.”

    They go on and say they sometimes will eat buttons, wood items, and nibble on camera cases, etc.

    I was wrong that they will pull stuff up by the roots, I think (I was indeed thinking of sheep, and even that might be wrong), but I suspect that if the hillside depends on the woody plants for traction, there could be problems with erosion.

    Are goats put into the same fields as the homeless (both without shelter) considered homeless goats? What about if they escape the fields? I’ve seen SF hillsides and fences are not all that easy to close up. I read something somewhere about a homeless goat patrol (Oh, that’s mine).

    By the way, regarding the article (added later) found at LiveLeak.com, perhaps you should talk to Goats R Us about this.

    Thanks for correcting my mistake.

    Grace and Peace


  4. Pingback: 85.My New Days…City Life « Homeless Veteran’s Survival Guide

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