It was a goat chase. No kidding.
A runaway goat led officers from several different law enforcement agencies on a frantic, hourlong chase through the Buffalo State College area Wednesday afternoon.
Believed to be on the loose since Christmas Day, the white female goat was chased by at least a dozen officers for at least an hour before they finally snared it at about 2:45 p.m. near the intersection of Elmwood and Forest avenues on the grounds of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
Before it was captured, the goat took a whirlwind tour of some city sites, including the college campus, the Scajaquada Expressway, some buildings on Tonawanda Street and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. It was taken to the SPCA shelter in the Town of Tonawanda after being captured.
“I’ve been here 20 years, and this is the first time we’ve ever taken in a goat that was out running on the [Scajaquada] expressway,” said Barbara Carr, executive director of the SPCA Serving Erie County. “The bigger question is, why does anyone have a goat in the City of Buffalo? You can’t legally keep goats in the city.”
Why should police spend time and energy chasing a goat?
“You don’t want an animal running loose like that,” one city officer said. “If you’re driving on the expressway and a goat runs out in front of your car, you could wind up making a sharp turn in a hurry, and somebody could be hurt.”
In recent years, chickens, roosters and other farm animals – including a pig that now weighs more than 700 pounds – have been found roaming in the city and taken to the SPCA’s shelter, Carr said.
“I know we have a fairly large immigrant population in Buffalo, and a lot of people probably don’t realize that you aren’t legally allowed to buy a goat or pig and raise it in the city,” Carr said. “We probably need to do a better job of educating the public.”
Authorities late Wednesday were trying to find out where the goat came from and how it got free.
One or two goats were seen roaming the city’s West Side on Christmas Day, according to officials at the city animal shelter.
Buffalo police, animal control officers, wildlife officers and other officers began tracking and chasing the goat at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
At one point, officers thought they had it cornered near a building on Tonawanda Street, and at another point, officers thought they had it trapped on the Buffalo State campus.
Finally, on the grounds of the Psychiatric Center, a city wildlife officer managed to get a snare around the goat’s neck, and another officer from the state college wrapped her arms around the animal to stop it from running.
The animal – a white female with black spots – weighs about 35 pounds. Carr said the police chase certainly hasn’t hurt its appetite.
“It’s a little stressed out, but otherwise appears to be very healthy,” Carr said.