Castle Rock gives green light to ducks, pigs and goats

New animal code rules take effect Oct. 1

Posted 7/8/19

Come October, Castle Rock residents could see their neighbors walking not just their pet dog down the street, but a miniature goat or maybe, a miniature pig. The town council on July 2 gave final …

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Castle Rock gives green light to ducks, pigs and goats

New animal code rules take effect Oct. 1

Posted

Come October, Castle Rock residents could see their neighbors walking not just their pet dog down the street, but a miniature goat or maybe, a miniature pig.

The town council on July 2 gave final approval to begin allowing residents miniature goats, miniature pigs and ducks, a policy that's set to take effect on Oct. 1. Councilmembers James Townsend and Caryn Johnson voted against the issue in a 5-2 decision.

Johnson said she worried allowing the animals would burden the police department, which has one less animal control officer than usual, but also that goats and pigs tend to be escape artists.

Townsend has repeatedly expressed concerns about added cost to the town, not just through enforcing the updated code but in training officers to handle the new animals.

Deputy Town Attorney Heidi Hugdahl said she could not be sure how much the new policy would cost Castle Rock without knowing the number of people who would ultimately choose to raise the animals.

“There could be significant impact if there's a number of goats and pigs in town and there are enforcement challenges,” she said. “On the other hand, if there's good pet ownership and people adhere to our code, which we all hope, then maybe less of an impact.”

When asked by Mayor Jason Gray if neighboring communities that allow the animals had reported issues, she said the animals did not appear to be a significant problem.

Other councilmembers said they know constituents who have interest in owning the animals while Mayor Pro Tem Jason Bower doubted town residents will mind if neighbors bring the new kinds in as pets.

“I don't think we're going to have that many people in town go out and get goats,” Bower said. “I just don't think we're going to have an issue.”

The proposal was considered on a first reading at the council's June 18 meeting. Staff made some changes between its first and second consideration. Those included stipulations around food storage to deter attracting any wildlife, adding a fence height requirement and putting the burden of proof on the owner if the town needs to confirm an animal's breed.

Multiple people spoke during public comment in favor of the proposal at the July 2 meeting. The town has previously solicited input from residents that garnered mixed reviews, leaning mostly positive in 2017 and 2018 but negative in 2019. More information on the animal code and requirements for goats, pigs and ducks is available at CRgov.com.

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