Update: Wounded Arboretum Goats Recuperating; New Goats Brought In

Cappuccino and Geisha, the two female goats wounded in the Arnold Arboretum by an unleashed border collie Wednesday, are recuperating with non-life threatening injuries, and two new goats were brought to the arboretum Thursday morning to help eat invasive plants near Peters Hill.

“The staff [at the arboretum] has been terrific, and other than this unfortunate incident, the goats have enjoyed their time as well,” said Sue Schortmann of The Goatscaping Company, which rents the goats to the arboretum. “We are so grateful to everyone: The [Arnold] Arboretum, the Boston Police and Boston Animal Control, and the veterinarian from Halifax Veterinary Service, who was wonderful about filling in as our regular veterinary service is on vacation. Lastly, I want to thank our wonderful staff who went above and beyond [on Wednesday] to ensure the goats were taken care of quickly.”

For the past month, the arboretum has been leasing four goats for the purpose of controlling invasive plant species. According to Bonnie McGilpin in Mayor Martin Walsh’s press office, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at around 2:30 p.m., Boston Park Rangers radioed Boston Animal Care & Control about a dog in the goats’ enclosure, which is contained within an electrified fence. The dog’s owner was present with his dog when an animal control officer arrived, and reportedly acknowledged that the dog was off-leash when it entered the enclosure, McGilpin said.

The animal control officer observed lacerations behind the ear of one goat and on the inner rear leg of another goat.

The animal control officer determined the dog was currently licensed and vaccinated for rabies. The dog’s owner was issued a first-time offender citation for an off-leash dog, a written warning, as there was no documented history of violations by the dog or dog owner. McGilpin said. A first-time offender citation in Boston is a written warning; a second offense is a $50 fine, a third offense is a $60 fine and a fourth offense and any subsequent offense is a $100 fine, she said.

The dog is currently under a 10-day quarantine per Massachusetts General Laws and rabies control regulations. Animal inspectors have the authority to determine where the quarantine will take place, and as of Thursday Boston officials were assessing whether the quarantined dog would remain at the city shelter in Roslindale or at the owner’s home.

According to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140 Section 155, the owner of the goats could hold the dog owner liable for damages, McGilpin said.

During their recovery, Cappuccino and Geisha’s pain as a result of their injuries is being carefully monitored, Schortmann said, adding that many people have reached out to send healing thoughts as the goats receive nursing care.

Goats are being "employed" in the Arnold Arboretum to eat invasive plant species.

David Ertischek

Goats are being “employed” in the Arnold Arboretum to eat invasive plant species.