Dogs, cats... goats?
More people are getting pet goats, for a few good reasons. or starters... goats can get into mischief, just like any other pet.
For starters, goats get into mischief, just like most dogs and cats. They're also usually big fans of treats.
"A farm animal is just like a pet. If you treat it like a pet, it's going to act like a pet," says Linette Ramos De Soto, the founder of the Refuge Farm in Grand Blanc Township.
Nigerian dwarf goats Monkey, Moo, and Elliot live on the farm. Linette wants it to be a safe place for both animals and humans.
"Kids with special needs. Adults with PTSD, anxiety, depression. And we hope this can be their refuge where they can come to find comfort and emotional support, and love with the animals."
So these goats and their buddies will have very important jobs, Linette says, "That's our hope. I start training in September at Oakland University, to become a handler for animal-assisted therapy. So we're hoping all of our animals- well, the majority of our animals that are people-friendly- can become therapy animals."
These goats have it good, and have plenty of great company here on the Refuge Farm, but they live outside.
Linette says many of their goat cousins, are indoor pets, "The Nubian goat is a pretty big- pretty standard size, probably like the size of a Lab or German Shepherd. People have those (goats) as pets inside their house."
There are several types of goat. Dwarves- like Monkey and Moo- will get up to about 60 or 70 pounds.
At this point you may be wondering, if you can potty train a goat.
"When we take them places, they wear pants," but Linette says she thinks potty training a goat is doable, "We've never tried to potty train them. I am sure they probably can learn. They're pretty smart little critters."
Yes, Linette says, she is amazed by these cute little guys all of the time, "They're super smart! They even learn how to open doors."
Goats share something else in common with dogs and cats: Some of them are great cuddlers, Linette says.
"They're so loving. They love to be hugged and be held like little kids. They love to hand-feed. They love to eat anything they find, so they'll eat anything you give them. They cuddle. They're super cute. It's just like having a dog."
But just like any pet you might consider, do your research before you decide to make any animal your permenant roommate.
Monkey and Moo have their own facebook page, just in case you wanted to sneak a peek!