Rally for Miniature Goats at City Hall in Visalia

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All goat news and updates will now be posted on www.improgoat.com!

First off, I want to thank everyone that showed up with such thoughtful and clever signs and t-shirts, and to express my gratitude to everyone who stood up to speak at the City Council meeting last night. You have no idea what it means to me!
A special thank you to those of you who came out early to meet KMPH Fox 26 News before the rally. The video crew was unable to keep the cameras out during our rally time, so they missed the big crowd that eventually showed up. But even so, the coverage was GREAT and is making some major ripples in the community after airing on the 10 o’clock news last night!
You can see the KMPH News coverage BY CLICKING HERE.
ABC 30 News was unable to send their camera crew to the rally, but wants an interview sometime today to discuss the details of the meeting. Other news outlets that covered the pro goat rally were The Fresno Bee, The Visalia Times Delta and The Valley Voice (their articles are not yet published, but you can bet I’ll be sharing them ASAP!)
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We had a HUGE crowd show up. Even when lining up on each side of the walkway from the City Hall doors down to the street, we spilled out into the street and sidewalks – we couldn’t all fit!
And speaking of “couldn’t all fit”, even after they put out extra chairs, and even after it was standing room only in the meeting room, the “I’m Pro Goat” people still could not fit in the council room – many groups had to stand outside the meeting room in the hallway and watch from the open double doors!
The ONLY part of the night that I found unsatisfactory was that after submitting the petition to the council, Council Member Amy Shuklian stopped me to note that she “did a quick count of the signatures, and there’s only 900-something signatures”. I’m not sure how she came to this quick tally, considering change.org digitally counts the numbers. At the moment of my printing the petition out, the signatures were at 1,044.. and that wasn’t even counting the physical signatures we gathered from the Farmers Market!
Further, after my pointing out how major cities that allow goats have no problems, and that they have not seen ANY noise, health or trespass complaints against legal mini goats, Council Member Skuklian asked a city official, “How many complaints do we get against goats per year in Visalia?” and the answer was 1-2 per year. I felt this was slightly misleading considering a “complaint” in Visalia encompasses, “Hey, my neighbors have goats.”, whereas a complaint in San Diego, San Francisco, Portland or Seattle includes REAL issues, like noise, trespass, etc. (For instance, MY goats constitute one of the annual goat complaints in Visalia – but they haven’t broken any sound, nuisance, health or trespass ordinances.)
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The only opposition that showed up and spoke was the one lone family that lives around the block and one house over from us. The wife spun a picture made up of outright lies about how the goat pen smells intense, “like a petting zoo”, and the overwhelming smell of feces is unbearable from her yard and blah blah blah. She made a comment that, “You can’t even imagine how bad it is till you smell it.”
This is why I’ve been so adamant to have the city council members come out in person.. because either my family, my house guests, all of my neighbors that share a fence with me and every single mini goat owner in every city in the nation is lying about the cleanliness and lack of smell with female miniature dairy goats.. or this lone neighborhood busybody invading my backyard privacy is.
There’s an easy way to definitively conclude if my mini goats stink – come out and smell their pen!! Smell my 3 foot by 3 foot compost bin made up of 80% goat feces that I’m saving to use as compost on my lawn next spring, stand over it, stir it up, catch a whiff… if you can. Don’t just take my word for it! See, and smell, for yourself!

So what was the answer last night?

After the meeting, Jonathan and I met with the City Planner, who was extremely helpful and accommodating (especially in light of our arriving en masse without a spot on the agenda!) and he explained the next steps in the process for us.
THE NEXT STEP: The City Planner has arranged for a private meeting with us TODAY to discuss in detail the next steps in getting this ordinance changed! He explained that these ordinance codes are long due for an update (the section regarding household pets hasn’t been updated since the 70s!) and that there are several different routes we could take to get this ordinance changed – some including legal fees approaching the $2000 mark – and each route has different wait times, steps to take, work to put in, etc. It’s a fairly complex legal system we have here, so after exhaustively spelling out each route, we’re going to weigh our options and then determine the next step to GET THIS ORDINANCE CHANGED!
I’ll keep everyone in the community informed. Because one thing is for certain: Whichever route we take, we WILL need community involvement and support!
In the meantime, the City Planner said he is going to arrange for city officials to come out sometime and see where the goats live, and get a firsthand look at what mini goats in the city look like. Having city officials in our yard, seeing the conditions for themselves, is a HUGE positive in my book! I know a visit will quickly dispel the blatant falsehoods of our down the block mall-cop mentality neighbors that would LIE to remove the milk out of my childrens mouths, simply because mini goats offend them!

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So what’s next?

1. WE NEED TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM UP!! With major coverage from KMPH Fox 26 News, upcoming coverage from ABC 30 and articles in every major print newspaper in the Visalia area, we need to get the word out, dispel the myths, and keep this in the forefront of the community.
2. STAY INFORMED. We’ll meet with the City Planner and get more details on the next actions to take with the city. You guys will be the first to know what our options are and what we plan to do next! I’ll be posting updates on the petition page at change.org and I will have a website up for this issue SOON. So keep your eyes open for updates and upcoming calls to action!
3. KEEP US IN YOUR PRAYERS. City officials will be coming out to our home to see the goat pen, so keep us in your prayers that all goes smoothly. While I am 110% confident they will be impressed with the cleanliness and overwhelming cuteness of our pen, prayer never hurt anybody, amiright!?
4. WE START RAISING FUNDS. When this whole shindig started, I was advised by friends and family to start a GoFundMe account. I shrugged it off and said, no, I will do this on my own. I don’t want to ask for monetary help. But now, with the cost of ink (we went through TWO cartridges already!), paper, folders, sticker sheets, gas, signs, postage, buying our Pro Goat website domain, etc. etc. etc… the cost is adding up for this little stay at home mom! And we’ve only had ONE meeting! If we do have to pay for application fees with the city to get this passed, it will pretty much HAVE TO be a community effort. So I am starting a GoFundMe account to help me cover some of the cost of stickers, paper, ink and other office supplies that will be coming into use much more in this campaign in the coming days. If you’d like to help in this area, please CLICK HERE to contribute!

Again, thank you to EVERYONE that has come out in support! This fight is just started, so keep in touch for next steps and action plans.. I am feeling optimistic that we WILL see change in Visalia! Just keep calm and VOTE PRO GOAT!!

Gingi Freeman on FacebookGingi Freeman on InstagramGingi Freeman on PinterestGingi Freeman on Twitter
Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

49 thoughts on “Rally for Miniature Goats at City Hall in Visalia

  • 5 May, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    Way to go Gingi! Good luck and you are in my prayers!

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:16 pm
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      Thanks Jen! <3

  • 5 May, 2015 at 8:13 pm
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    Gingi, did you direct the city people to this site? You have a number of articles on the goats, their ‘poop’ and other stuff. The problem with them forcing you to remove your goats THEN wanting to come ‘see’ them, is them NOT being at home! How can they judge the smell if the goats have been gone a week? They need to give you a ‘temporary’ permit to keep them, especially due to the financial hardship of boarding them (and losing the milk) is. If they can come out with the goats there, with fresh poop/pet in the area, they’ll see that they are NOT a problem. They can come at milking time and hear all the ‘noise’ they make. And, unless the busybody neighbors put their dogs up, they’ll be able to hear them yapping! Maybe while they’re there, you can recount the story of Yzma getting out and how they freaked out when Jon tried to see where she went and maybe they’ll be curious about the draping they’ve put up. What exactly are they so worried about that someone might see? hmmmm?

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:08 pm
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      I intend to.. I just don’t want to bombard them with articles and information, you know? I’m trying to move as fast as I can without making myself a nuisance!

  • 5 May, 2015 at 11:39 pm
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    Gingi, I am surprised that one family spoke out against the masses… wow… I have a friend who owns a goat, she does live a little outside the city but he looks so cute and he even has his own Facebook page… We get get updates and videos of what he is doing, it is adorable.

    I wish you much luck and I will certainly continue to share your posts around my media… have a lovely day xox

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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      Right?! I will give them that.. they are ballsy. But as my friend Sam said, “I can’t believe an old jackass and a bitter cow have such a problem with a goat.” hahaha…

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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      Thank you so much Tanya! <3

  • 6 May, 2015 at 3:47 am
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    Looks like you’re in for a battle! Good luck Gingi. I hope all goes well eventually. It pays to stand up for what you believe in. 🙂

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:20 pm
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      Yes.. please keep us in your prayers! <3

  • 6 May, 2015 at 10:57 am
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    Gingi – It’s great to see true change happening. I’m happy for you and your supporters. It’s inspiring to see young people standing up for their beliefs and rights as citizens. You rock!

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:20 pm
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      yeah, we did have a lot of young people present!

  • 6 May, 2015 at 11:03 am
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    Wow, it’s great that so many people turn up to support the cause and also fantastic progress that city officials will check out the living conditions of your goats! Wishing you all the best!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:14 pm
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      Yes, I am hoping my cute little goat pen will win them all over. 😉

  • 6 May, 2015 at 11:09 am
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    Hello, I’m stopping by to say hi and have a look around. I love you site! I hope you get your goats, keep up the good fight! My city does not allow goats or chickens inside city limits either.

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:21 pm
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      Thanks Kimberly! I hope you keep in touch!!

  • 6 May, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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    Gingi I read with delight when you said ” We had a HUGE crowd show up. Even when lining up on each side of the walkway from the City Hall doors down to the street, we spilled out into the street and sidewalks – we couldn’t all fit!”

    My thoughts are with you for a positive outcome.

    All the best Jan

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:21 pm
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      <3 <3

  • 6 May, 2015 at 12:57 pm
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    I hope the officials will come to your place and see (and smell) for themselves! Good luck! Thinking of you!

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:15 pm
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      Yeah, I think they’ll be amazed at the LACK of smell. I wish they’d go knock on my rude neighbors door and ask to check out THEIR backyard.. haha.. “Funny, I can’t smell ANYTHING from over here.”

  • 6 May, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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    That is awesome and great pics. So great to stand up for what you want and hoping you get results!

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:22 pm
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      You and me both!!! <3

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:17 pm
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      <3

  • 6 May, 2015 at 3:39 pm
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    Gingi, this is so inspiring to read!!! I love how persistent and strong-willed you are with the things you believe in! Know that you have supporters from all over the U.S.!!

    • 6 May, 2015 at 5:16 pm
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      Yeah… they pretty much messed with the WRONG girl, haha..

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:18 pm
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      Yeah, the ball is definitively rolling in the right direction!

  • 6 May, 2015 at 7:21 pm
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    It’s so cool what a difference you are busy making! And can I just add you girl look amazing! Can’t believe you had a baby which seems like it was yesterday!

    http://www.daisyperson.blogspot.com

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:18 pm
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      Awwww, thank you! This comment just made my day!

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:19 pm
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      Yeah, but we’re gonna get them back! Rawr!!!

  • 6 May, 2015 at 8:17 pm
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    Way to go, Gingi! Wishing you the best.
    I bet your miserable neighbor is the one who smells horrible. Who else has time to protest beautiful pets?

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:20 pm
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      RIGHT?! The best comment on those rotten humans came from my friend Sam, and I quote, “Crazy that an old jackass and a bitter cow won’t tolerate some little goats. Isn’t there enough room in the barnyard for them all?”

  • 6 May, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    You’re amazing Gingi! Getting so much organized in so little time is impressive, I absolutely hope this works out for you. I did a little goatie sketch last Sunday and posted it with links back to you on my blog and facebook page, I hope you get what you need!

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:21 pm
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      I saw that on Twitter!! I was looking up Nigerian Dwarf as a keyword and I saw you and went, I KNOW HER!!! Thank you so much, that made my day!!!

  • 6 May, 2015 at 9:49 pm
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    Hurrah for you Gingi! Look at that crowd, you did that! I really hope this goes your way. Your neighbor sounds like a Mrs. Kravitz, miserable and bored. Great pictures.

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:21 pm
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      Thanks Linda! <3

  • 6 May, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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    Thank you for the update! That is so wonderful that so many people showed up to the rally! I hope everything works out in your favor!

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:21 pm
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      Yeah, I was surprised at the size of the crowd.. I was feeling very blessed!

  • 7 May, 2015 at 12:56 am
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    Oh my Gingi, I’m so sorry you have to go through this, especially with a newborn! Wish I could have attended your rally, would have totally been there to support your little goat friends (and you of course) Will be praying that the whole situation gets solved soon and that when visitors come they realize the pens don’t smell and goats make great pets!! Wishing you all the best. Now I have to share the update with my husband =)

    • 7 May, 2015 at 6:25 pm
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      Thyme and Tessa are becoming little rock stars.. everyone loves them. But it WOULD have been nice if this all went down with the girls being a little older.. lol. Lugging them around while trying to rile up a whole city is TIRING! Keep us in yours prayers, and follow http://www.improgoat.com to follow our progress!

  • 7 May, 2015 at 11:41 pm
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    Good luck from me too. You’ll be in my prayers as well. Looks like you have a lot of support. Good.

    Have a fabulous day. 🙂

  • 8 May, 2015 at 3:48 pm
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    The battle is real, but with all this support, Gingi you’re a winner. May God see you through this and kudos for standing up to what’s right.
    Great shots! 🙂

    missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

  • 8 May, 2015 at 9:52 pm
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    I’m wishing you all the best in this, Gingi, you obviously have support and many agrees with you. Shame on that one family, can’t believe they have the face to spin stupid lies in front of everyone.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • 11 May, 2015 at 2:44 pm
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      Yeah, I actually feel sorry for that family. They have some major issues. Everyone in the community that knows them says they are just bitter, quarrelsome, dishonest people. So so sad!

  • 10 May, 2015 at 6:53 pm
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    Looks like a creative and well attended demo! Hope it has the desired effect! Good luck!

Comments are closed.