You laugh, but Soddy-Daisy is serious—the city will soon rule on the long-running Goat Wars saga that has the ring of a Hatfield-McCoy feud in North Hamilton County.
On one side is Brenda Smith, inheritor and keeper of her late mother’s herd of pygmy goats. On the other are neighbors, her brother Cecil Smith among them, who claim the goats are a nuisance, emit goat-like odors and could be a festering pool of disease.
“She’s using them as a lawnmower,” Cecil Smith told the North Hamilton Weekly, which, along with the Chattanoogan.com website, keeps a close eye on the developing story. Brenda Smith, who inherited 24 goats, of which 22 still survive, said her brother resents her, not the goats.
The battle began four years ago when they city crafted an ordinance allowing Smith to keep the goats if she thinned the herd to 16 by 2008 then to eight by 2011, according to the weekly. Smith said she believes her brother was behind the ordinance.
The goats have proven remarkably healthy, however, many living beyond the standard 10- to 15-year lifespan of pygmies. Smith hopes a new ordinance that would prohibit those with less than 2 acres of property from aquiring new goats but let those who already own them keep them.
Until the city issues a decision, some live in fear that—we kid you not—the herd will break free and begin playing upon the tops of “2010 model” cars, according to one concerned citizen quoted in the paper.