The famed surfing goats of Pismo Beach, Calif., are facing a threat bigger than any ocean wave: City Hall.
While the goats are actually allowed on the beach itself, they're not permitted to live in town. As a result, Dana McGregor, owner of the gnarly nanny and her two kids, has recently received four $400 tickets for keeping goats within city limits, KSBY reports.
"I do have them registered as service animals, and they're actually emotional support animals, so they emotionally support me," McGregor said.
Currently, city law allows only for goats on lots bigger than the McGregor residence, or temporarily on smaller lots to clear out weed and brush.
That's actually why McGregor got his first goat, Goatee, three years ago. Goatee helped clear poison oak from the yard he shares with his mother, the Tribune of San Luis Obispo, Calif., said. Then Goatee had two kids, Pismo and Grover, and McGregor was too attached to give them up.
So he taught them to surf and even set up a website to showcase their talents.
But it's not all baaaaaaaaad news for goat ownership in Pismo Beach. With three wooly stars in their midst, the city council is considering a rule that seems custom-made to allow Goatee, Pismo and Grover to stay. The move would allow people with smaller plots of land to get a permit to own four or fewer goats with certain restrictions.
“I want what’s best for the city too,” McGregor told the Tribune. “I’m hoping we can work something out.”
In the meantime, the goats have become viral sensations all over again, with news media outlets reporting on their plight in print, on television and in social media.
Alas, not everyone is hoping this will work out.
In the comments section of the story on the Tribune's website, one reader and self-described animal activist protested.
"These are not 'surfing' goats," Shelley Petlansky Watkins wrote. "They are animals that have been forced to balance on a board in the ocean to avoid falling into the water which I'm sure they do. They don't have a choice, and I'm sure if they did, they wouldn't want to be used in this way: for sad attention-seekers."