Allow Dwarf Goats in Suburban Residential Areas

Allow Dwarf Goats in Suburban Residential Areas

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Kendon McBee started this petition to City of Lee's Summit and

The City of Lee's Summit, Missouri currently enforces a prohibition on all goats.

Section 5.2 of the Lee's Summit Codes Ordinance defines Domestic Animals as "any animal that is domesticated as opposed to wild, free-roaming, except dogs, cats, and chickens." This prohibits anyone from keeping dwarf and/or pygmy goats, which on average may reach 35-40 pounds at maturity, in the same classification as a 1-ton cow or 1,200 lb horse. However, by the exclusion of this definition, dogs (actually up to 3 dogs) of any size or breed can be kept on any residence.

There are countless yards in our neighborhood that regularly have 3 large and very vocal dogs on their property at any given time that pose far more public disturbance, sanitation concern and/or health risk. This is not to demonize any specific bread of dog or species of animal over another for that matter. Following the death of our family pet, an 11-year old, 55 lb Australian Shepherd dog, we waited and deliberated to determine the best fit for our family in a replacement family pet. After 2 years of research and exploration and planning, we determined that a pair of dwarf goats would not only be the best fit as pets for our busy family because they require less work than dogs, are quieter in general than dogs and do not pose any safety issues to our kids or the neighbors that frequent our yard, and we also looked forward to the ecological and health benefits including a means to  cleaner dairy for our family.

Lee's Summit, MO, has developed into a growing and sought-after community to live and raise a family because of the diverse community, great public schools, growing civic involvement, support of local businesses & investment in parks and recreation. Lee's Summit amended the animal ordinance a few years ago to allow the safe and sanitary keeping and raising of up to 6 chickens. There is now a thriving community of backyard chicken owners across the city providing organic locally grown eggs to their neighbors and educating the next generation about the benefits of raising chickens, gardening and healthy living. These are the reasons why our family relocated to Lee's Summit. As a Lee's Summit homeowner, father of 3 children and local business owner, however, I am now facing the dilemma of whether or not to move our family and my business because my family is not currently permitted under this ordinance to pursue the health and benefits that come with raising a pair of dwarf goats on our 1/2 acre residential lot.

I would propose that the current Animal Ordinance be amended to allow the safe and sanitary keeping of miniature livestock as many many growing urban and suburban cities across the United States have. Miniature Livestock is defined by animals that reach no more than 100 lbs at full maturity.

There are countless benefits to raising miniature goats in urban and suburban lots including:

  • Goats make great pets. Goats are social animals and they are easy to train. They're easy to handle, even by children. They're inexpensive to keep and can live outside. They keep the pet owners home more sanitary, free of dander, dirt, and parasites that often accompany indoor/outdoor pets. Goats are not only useful, but they're also thrifty because they can browse for their own food and because they don't need an overly fancy shelter (just some solid fencing).
  • Goats reduce waste. Besides being great browsers, goats can clean up all your leftover food scraps, significantly cutting down on garbage and waste.
  • Goats Produce milk. A Goat's milk is a great alternative for people sensitive to cow milk. Goat's milk can be used to make goat cheese, goat yogurt or soft and mild soap that is often used by people with sensitive skin.
  • Goats produce fiber. Goat fiber can be spun into yarn for knitting, weaving, or crocheting.
  • Goats make great neighbors. They are relatively quiet and do not bite humans.
  • Goats Clear land. Goats are great browsers and they love to eat weeds and blackberry brambles. They can be used to clear out and let them act as living brush hog!
  • Yes, they make manure... less than the average sized dog, and goat manure can be used for fuel for fire and fertilizer, and quickly decomposes. Goat manure is a great bio remediator and source of potassium, potash, and nitrogen, and other minerals.


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