Someone’s got your goat

The goat that was on the loose. Photo credit to Christina McQuade/The Westfield News

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – There was a goat on the loose in the city early Friday morning. Yes–a goat.

The goat was found roaming the area of East Mountain Road and Paper Mill Road around 2:30 a.m. While out there, a local resident found the buck while heading home from a Bike Night event.

“I was driving and I thought it was a deer and I was already going slow, then I noticed that it wasn’t a deer but a farm animal. So I approached him with some grass and started petting him,” Powder Mill Road and goat finder Christina McQuade said.

The goat on the loose with a red rope tied around his neck so he does not get away. Photo credit to Christina McQuade/The Westfield News.

McQuade said that she coaxed the animal from out of the middle of the road with the grass, and was able to get him to the side.While there, several people stopped to help, as well as just to ask questions.

I was like, ‘holy moly, is this really happening right now?’,” McQuade said about the incident.

Eventually, the police were dispatched for, according to police dispatcher Christine Gustafson, a “loose goat.” Police arrived and met with McQuade and the lost animal.

Gustafson said that police called around but could not find the owner. And since animal control was not available at the time, this left McQuade and police in a difficult situation.

But McQuade, being familiar with farm animals, decided that she would be able to protect the beast, for at least one night.

McQuade said that while “three grown men were afraid” to touch the goat, she hugged him and petted him and, with the help of police and rope from a bystander, ushered him to her home a short distance away. There she tied him to a tree and fed him some grain.

“As soon as I got home I asked the owner of the house, ‘Can I keep him?’ And she said ‘What?!’,” McQuade recounted with a laugh.

After a night in a new backyard (but not a new home) the goat, whose name is Jethro, was returned to his owner, John Sullivan.

According to Sullivan, Jethro is “6 or 7 years old,” and he has never gotten loose before. However, according to Sullivan, this is not entirely uncommon for livestock. Sullivan said that farm animals can “get spooked” from predatory animals such as bears, and may run away.

Facebook comments about the missing goat also mentioned seeing a goat on the loose for the past three days, including being seen on the Mass. Turnpike. However, Sullivan said that Jethro was “only missing for a day.” Unknown if the two goat incidents are related.

Either way, Sullivan is relieved to have been reunited with Jethro.

“We’re glad to get him, I don’t want anyone running him over or getting hurt with him, and we’re happy,” Sullivan said.

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