Petitioning the City of Visalia to Allow Miniature Goats as Pets

So shit’s going down ya’ll. I seriously went from depressed and despairing to furious and determined. Now I’m optimistic and fired up. Someone messed with the wrong girl.
You know my neighbors who wouldn’t let me get my lost kitten that ran into their yard when she got out of our house when I rushed to the hospital in labor? The ones who play loud country music late at night, have loud yappy dogs, and shoot off illegal fireworks every other night? Yeah. Pretty sure they raised a stink about my goats to the city.
It could ONLY have been those neighbors who mouthed off to me and my husband over our kitten, because the neighbors to my left, to my right and even directly behind us love the goats – they pet them, feed them treats and send their kids over to play with them all the time.
Regardless, instead of repeating the same story over and over and over again, I’ll just cut and paste the letter I’ve sent to a Visalia City Council member whom I hope will be sympathetic to my issue. This letter should sum up what’s going on for the most part:




What’s Going On

Dear (City Council Member),
I am writing with a request for information and assistance in repealing the City Ordinance against owning miniature goats within the city limits.
I assumed that like the cities of San Diego and Seattle, Visalia did not count miniature goats as livestock animals but as pets, and I obtained miniature Nigerian Dwarf goats on my city property last year. I recently received a notice in the mail stating that I have ten days to get rid of them or face a $1000 per day fine.
My goats are quiet, clean, contained, leash trained and well behaved.
Miniature goats, which include pygmy and dwarf goats, are no larger than big dogs. The average miniature goat weighs between 35 to 65 pounds. Miniature goats are excellent pets due to their good-natured personalities, friendliness, faithfulness, and hardy constitution.
Female and neutered male goats do not generate significant odors, are not violent, do not wander the neighborhood like cats or generate the noise that dogs can and are far less likely to spread disease than dogs or cats.
My goats are a source of milk, they are great pets, and being fed an organic diet, they generate clean organic compost and fertilizer which we use for gardening. Not unlike chickens, they are a great resource for self-sufficient urban dwellers – and far quieter and cleaner! (I have never once heard my goats from inside my house, while I can hear dogs barking from inside my house up to six houses down the block.)
Many cities in California now allow miniature goats as pets, with no ill effects or problems. With our region’s rich agricultural history and the overwhelming recent support of self-sufficiency through beneficial backyard urban animals such as chickens, there is no reason that the City of Visalia should not adopt a similar Ordinance for miniature goats.
The very same reasons that backyard chickens are a good idea (when responsibly cared for), goes for miniature goats as well.
I understand that there are people out there who would keep goats irresponsibly. To address this issue, I feel that preexisting laws are already in place to address problems such as noise, trespass, animal cruelty, and property damage. (For instance, if someone has a loud goat that is bothering neighbors, those neighbors will be able to address the noisy goats through the existing noise regulations.)
Ultimately, I feel this is simply an issue of fairness. If dogs and cats are allowed, why shouldn’t miniature goats be? Dogs have very sharp teeth and are sometimes aggressive. They also have a tendency to bark loudly. Cats have no concept of property lines and cross them without remorse to attend to their business affairs in neighboring vegetable gardens and sandboxes. Yet despite these indiscretions, we allow dogs and cats. Shouldn’t we allow goats too?
If the City of Visalia, which makes a special provision for racing pigeons (Ordinance 17.32.250) which are known to be notorious disease carriers… Why not miniature goats?
I would like to personally invite you to come meet our goats and see their living space so you can personally assess the situation and get a firsthand look at how simple, easy, humane and clean backyard city goats can be. In compliance with the letter I received from the city, we will be moving our goats to a friend’s house in the country later this week, so please do respond ASAP if you would like to meet our goats Idee and Eos.
For a little bit more about me and my goats: My goats are my pets, my hobby and my two daughters greatest source of nutrition (I use the goat milk – which is gentle on young stomachs and non-allergenic – to make organic baby formula).
I initially obtained my goats to provide milk for my daughters since I cannot produce breast milk, my breast tissue was removed as a teenager. I was born with a congenital abnormality called tuberous breasts hypoplasia. The condition alone affects the ability of women to breastfeed because the milk glands usually do not develop enough to produce breast milk. After finding various (thankfully noncancerous) lumps in my breasts as a teenager, my doctor decided to remove them, and in the process perform reconstructive plastic surgery. I ended up receiving a partial mastectomy, which removed my milk glands and damaged the nerves around my areola – sealing the deal that I would never be able to produce breast milk and breastfeed in the future.
With the cost of goat milk being exceptionally prohibitive, and no organic goat milk options in the Central Valley, I use the goat milk to make baby formula for my 2 month old and 19 month old daughters. This is partially why this issue is dear to me.. it goes beyond a right to own pets.
In conclusion, many cities and counties nationwide and in California in particular, are changing their laws and ordinances regarding discrimination against miniature goats, and adopting a more fair and empowering stance for self-sufficient city dwellers. I encourage you to take a look at this article of how Seattle repealed their prohibition on miniature goats:
I hope to hear from you soon.
Gingi Freeman




What’s Happening Now

I still have not heard back from the City Council member I sent this letter to, but I sent the e-mail over the weekend, and didn’t really expect to get a response till Monday at the earliest.
I plan to speak at the next City Council meeting on May 4th. I’m going to gather as many supporters as possible to come fill City Hall, and will be distributing “I’m Pro-Goat” stickers to them to wear. Afterwards we’ll meet up at my place for a mini goat cheese and wine tasting party.
In the meantime, I have started gathering signatures on a petition to the city to amend their City Ordinance against miniature goats. You can see the petition here:
As of this posting I am up to 262 digital signatures. I’m also collecting physical signatures at our local Farmers Market. We got rained out yesterday, but I managed to get 31 physical signatures in 20 minutes in the pouring rain at the Farmers Market. There are two more Farmers Markets till the 4th of May where I’ll be speaking to the City Council.
When I speak at the City Council I’ll be handing each council member a packet with: Photos of my goats and their living space, a suggested example of the revised and rewritten ordinance, rebuttals to common misconceptions and concerns about goats in the city, some fast facts about the benefits of owning goats, and lastly, signed letters from my neighbors stating that they are not bothered by my goats.
Since this all went down (I got the letter from the city on Friday night, and started moving on civil action yesterday morning), I have been contacted by two different newspapers asking to interview me and come meet the goats and spotlight this activism for legalizing city goats!
The momentum is growing and I am becoming increasingly optimistic we can make this resolution pass. I am going to keep recruiting as many people as I can to sign the petition, and I’m going to get as many people as I can to show up to City Hall to support my addressing the city.



I will keep you folks updated on our progress. In the meantime, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!


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 or via the contact form on her website at

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 or via the contact form on her website at

78 thoughts on “Petitioning the City of Visalia to Allow Miniature Goats as Pets

  • 27 April, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Gingi, I wish you much success with your petition. It’s terrible when small people do mean things… I pray that the city sees the importence of your goats… it was an extremely well written letter that hopefully touches their hearts.. xox ♡

  • 27 April, 2015 at 6:32 am

    I’m so proud of you sweetie! Absolutely LOVE those photos too. Tessa will be able to actually help milk the goats before you know it! Are you going to ask “those neighbors” to sign your petition/letter to help? You’ll know for sure if it was them. Make sure Jon goes with you when/if you go.

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Haha, I wanted to, but Jonathan said not to!! We know it’s them.. no one else can see or hear the goats that surround us!!

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      You and me both Prudence!! <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Having a ‘friendly’ neightbour like that is definitely a headache.
    That’s well written letter and hopefully the City Council brings you some good news soon, Gingi.
    Have a great week ahead!

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Yes, I’m working and praying hard about this! Thank you for your kind thoughts! <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Very compelling letter and article, Gingi! Wishing you the very best of luck in getting goats legalized in Visalia!! Supporting you all the way from the east coast! <3

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you sweetie! It means a lot to me! <3

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks Jessica! <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Gingi – your photo’s are an absolute delight.

    Best of luck with the petition. Sending positive thoughts your way.

    All the best Jan

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks Jan!!! <3 <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Sorry you are going through this but I’m so glad for the fight in you that won’t let this issue go. I hope everything turns out well, Gingi. Thank you for posting the awesome pics. And ya, pigeons are pretty dang nasty.

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Yeah, I get riled up sometimes. 😉 Thanks for the kind thoughts! <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    What crazy, rude neighbors! But on a positive note, it’s so awesome that you are turning this into an educational opportunity to hopefully inspire real change locally. Prayers for y’all and that all goes well at the City Council meeting!

    • 27 April, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Stacie.. I am determined to be the girl who legalized goats in Visalia, California. 😉

  • 27 April, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Gingi, I am seriously wishing you tons of luck and hoping that you can get your case heard, as well as win, because if I could I would so sign your petition. Seriously, you go girl! 😉

  • 27 April, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I just got introduced to your blog so wanted to say hi! I really hope you get this sorted out, won’t you keep us updated?

    • 27 April, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Of course!! I’m going to be posting updates as they develop! <3 <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    You are amazing and I’m cheering for you from Kansas – I signed the petition but wish I could help you more (and come to the goat cheese & wine party!!).
    Good luck – definitely rooting for you!

    • 27 April, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you Kim!! <3 You're the best!

  • 27 April, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Oh Gingi, I really hope that they will allow you to keep your precious mini goats! Prayers for you and your family!
    I think this is not fair to forbid something which is being done for a good cause and not looking on the people who disturb the peace of whole neighbourhood.
    I love those goats from all your posts and pictures and if I would live close by I would also pet them!

    • 27 April, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you so much Tanya! Please pray pray pray!!

      I am hoping this is a slam dunk for us at City Council!! I’ll keep you all posted! <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I occasionally blast country music (love me some Blake and Luke 😉 ) on my patio when I’m gardening, and I have two yappy dogs, and I would NEVER put up with the neighbors you have. They sound like mean spirited and selfish ogres! If I lived in your neighborhood I’d be knocking on their door for you Gingi!

    Your letter was so well written and honest. I’m praying that you get to keep your goats my friend. Please keep us updated. xoxo

    • 27 April, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Thank you Linda. I need some of your yummy foods for comfort eating right about now, heh! Just got off the phone with the Visalia Times Delta.. hopefully the coverage is good! *crosses fingers*

      • 27 April, 2015 at 9:05 pm

        I just made a vegan lemon meringue pie for tomorrow’s blog post, if I could magically deliver it to you I would! The press coverage you’re getting is great, bureaucrats don’t like bad press, and your family and goats are just too likable for them to make you get rid of them. Thank God you have friends who will take them for a while if need be. I’m thinking of you and my fingers are tightly crossed.

        • 27 April, 2015 at 9:10 pm

          Technology needs to hurry up and make that happen!! (Though I’m still waiting on hoverboards..) I just gave a juicy quote to the press regarding our dear mayor who is adamantly anti-pets (dogs, cats, chickens, etc.).. I mentioned that he ran on being there for the “little guy” who is struggling financially. Well, there are a lot of little guys, my family included, who cannot afford to buy goat milk without added hormones of antibiotics, or organic compost and fertilizer for my backyard garden, or eggs, etc. etc… as long as existing trespass, noise and nuisance laws are maintained, why would he be against the “little guy” providing for his family nutritionally in these tough economic times?? BOOYA!!! 😉

  • 27 April, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Good for you! Your response was perfect! Use the press and hit the streets (at least that is what I would do). Hoping that you can get this resolution passed and then you should take over cookies to the neighbors the day it does with a big old smile plastered to your face 🙂 I am sure they will be pleased to see you…..

    • 27 April, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Hahaha, you have no idea how badly I want to do things like that.. (including leaving some ripe messages for them when they peek their noses over our fence line to spy on us).. but my husband won’t let me!!! *pout*

  • 27 April, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I hope this goes your way, I’ve signed the petition. The love you have for your goats is clear in how you care for them. I very much hope you get to keep them.

    • 27 April, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks Lisa! <3 *hugs* These little guys ARE spoiled!

  • 27 April, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Oh wow, I hope everything works out for you and that your petition is successful! Your letter is so well written, and your photos are amazing! Good luck, and I look forward to hearing the updates!

    • 27 April, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks Valerie!! <3 <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    This is so horrible! I wish you the best of luck and hope that a positive response comes soon. You and your family will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Bloglovin’

    • 28 April, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Connie! <3

  • 27 April, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Oh my Gingi, that’s insane! How can they just take away your pets? Those stinkin’ neighbors, what jerks. Your letter is wonderfully written and very convincing. Hopefully, they will be seeing reason. Read this post out loud to my husband! Sending lots of prayers your way! I had no clue why you weren’t breast feeding and was wondering about that. Wow!!!

    • 28 April, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Keep us in your thoughts and prayers! I waver between feeling really down and really fired up, haha. I am going to do everything in my power to make this happen, and if it doesn’t I want to make the biggest (legal) stink I can..

  • 28 April, 2015 at 2:23 am

    What a frustrating situation, but your response is inspiring! Whoever reported you got way more than they bargained for. Wishing you the best of luck!

    • 28 April, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Yeah.. I told my husband when I got they letter that they picked the WRONG girl to mess with, haha..

  • 28 April, 2015 at 4:09 am

    1. I am soooo sorry to hear you have nasty neighbors. Ugh!
    2. I love your goat solution. This sounds way better than dogs.
    3. I am pulling for you!!!!!!!

    • 28 April, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks April!! I’m confident I can make this happen!

  • 28 April, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Good luck fighting the good (goat) fight, lady! No reason you shouldn’t be able to have mini goats as pets!

    Le Stylo Rouge

    • 28 April, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      The good goat fight, haha, I think I’m going to use that one. 😉

  • 28 April, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    These pictures are so cute– what a fun childhood pet 🙂
    Melanie @

  • 28 April, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    When you said shit was going down, I knew I had to buckle up when reading this post ;). Keep up the fight. If you believe in something, you should always fight for it. I hope to see you at my new blog next week.

    Kay of Pure & Complex

    • 29 April, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      I’ll be there! <3

  • 28 April, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Definitely keeping you and your cute goats in my thoughts. Totally ridiculous. They are loved and loving, and they provide food for your family. I call BS on your neighbors and the city.

    • 29 April, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      I’m hoping we can make this happen! I’m fighting this SO HARD!!!

  • 28 April, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Oh wow, I’m so angry for you! I’ve signed the petition and also tweeted it out asking for others to sign it too.

    Keep us updated!

    Corinne x

    • 29 April, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Corinne!! <3

    • 29 April, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      You and me both. 🙁

    • 29 April, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Yeah.. they really did mess with the WRONG girl!!

  • 29 April, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Sorry to hear about your neighbours and hope the council will agree. Best of luck, Beautiful. I love the shots too -your baby is too cute. Aww.. :-))

  • 30 April, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    So upset that your neighbours behave like this! I wish you all the sucess with the petition! I hope the cute goats are able to stay 🙁 xoxo

    Serene | I Am Serene L

    • 1 May, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Me too! And some people just aren’t happy unless they have their nose in others business!! It’s so sad!

  • 30 April, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Oh my goodness, I hope the repeal that law! Miniature goats are definitely less problematic than the stray cats that roam our neighborhood. And like you mentioned, quieter than our neighbor’s dog that barks all hours of the night. Definitely not fair! Please do keep us updated!

  • 1 May, 2015 at 7:13 am

    eww, i won’t mikling the milk mysefl,
    but i will gladly except it if you handed it over to me thou, lol
    i’m thingking of making homemade goat cheese

    • 1 May, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks Patricia!

  • 2 May, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    i hope you can keep your goats! I know they have a good home with you! Fingers crossed!

  • 8 May, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Agenda 21 is forcing humans into city prisons.

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