QUESTION: Whatever happened to Oreo the goat?
ANSWER: Five months after Jeffery Viar first asked the East Ridge City Council to let his family keep their pet goat -- which was prohibited under city ordinance -- not much has changed at the Viar house.
The wooden sign on the front porch still lists each family member's name. There's still a trampoline and a wooden playhouse in the backyard. But one thing is different: Oreo isn't there anymore.
"He is gone," said Jonathan Cooper, East Ridge Animal Services supervising officer. "My understanding was he was going to North Georgia with some relatives."
He added that the family recently asked about adopting a puppy from the East Ridge Animal Shelter.
Viar found out in late August that his family's 40-pound, black-and-white pygmy goat was prohibited under city law. He tried to persuade the council to make an exception, arguing that Oreo was similar to a midsized dog and that his elementary-age kids couldn't understand why they had to get rid of their pet. He presented the council with a 100-signature petition supporting Oreo.
The debate stretched for weeks, but in the end, the council decided not to make any changes. The Viars received a letter Nov. 16 from animal services saying Oreo would have to go.
Viar said at the time that his family was considering moving out of East Ridge in order to keep Oreo, but they were still there early last week. They did not return several messages asking for comment.
Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...