Volunteers Try to Wrangle the Clarksburg Goats
Have you seen the goats? While Clarksburg is quickly becoming a booming suburban town, the traces of its rural Montgomery County roots are never far away. Sometimes closer than you might think. It seems a herd of goats has escaped its enclosure somewhere in the UpCounty area near Clarksburg and that herd has been creating issues on various roads throughout the Clarksburg and Damascus area.
It has been an issue that Montgomery County officials have been trying to wrangle for about six weeks, with little progress until a group of local community folks came together to attempt to bring the goat problem to a safe conclusion.
“We are working with members of the community and the Up-County Regional Service Center, who are coordinating with the Farm Bureau and folks from the agricultural community who are trying to help out,” said Tom Koenig, Director of Montgomery County Animal Services.
According to Koenig, the goats escaped from a property in Clarksburg, but their own has not been cooperating in retrieving the animals. “Because they have been out so long, and the owner has been uncooperative about helping us we are going to confiscate these animals,” said Koenig. “A volunteer in the community as stepped forward to take these animals and hold them for us until we can get them placed with a permanent home. Since we don’t have a place to keep the goats.”
“The owner has been issued several citations in connection with the goats getting loose. We are trying to hold him accountable. For now, we are focusing on getting the goats safe and whatever charges or citations that follow will come at that time,” said Koenig.
In the meantime, the goats remain at large. “We’ve had several reports of the goats being in downtown Damascus. We probably get three of four sightings per day, but by the time we get there they goats are gone,” said Koenig.
While two goats were captured last Wednesday in Damascus, the majority of the herd remain unaccounted for. “We are not exactly sure how many goats are loose,” said Michelle Corp, of Damascus. Corp. She is the vice president of the Farm Bureau and serves as Superintendent of Goats at the annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair and has volunteered to help coordinate the roundup of the goats.
“We think there are somewhere between 10 and 14. We think they have broken up into two or three groups. One group had three goats in it, and we captured two of them up in Damascus, and the third member of that group remains out there,” she said.