Jacki Casagranda

Chelsea Bailey Animal Shelter supervisor Jacki Casagranda sits with Shirley, a pygmy goat picked up at a local bar over the weekend by the animal warden. 

WALTER HINICK/Montana Standard

BUTTE — A goat walks into a bar.

It may sound like the beginning of a joke, but the local animal shelter supervisor said it happened last weekend in Butte — and it’s no laughing matter.

An animal control officer responded at 1:30 a.m. Sunday to an unidentified bar in Butte after a patron called the police to report that a goat had been brought inside, according to Chelsea Bailey Animal Shelter Supervisor Jacki Casagranda.

The female pygmy goat, which shelter workers are calling Shirley, was picked up outside the bar and taken to the animal shelter. If her owner hasn’t come forward by Wednesday morning, Casagranda said, shelter workers will start the process to adopt her, as is the usual protocol for impounded animals.

Shirley is a sweet and friendly creature. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with animals in public spaces, and Casagranda said the scene featuring people with lowered inhibitions and animals in a new, noisy environment doesn’t always end well. Injuries to the animal or to people around can happen, from trips to bites.

“Animals should not be in bars,” Casagranda said. “In general, for the community, for the owners, and for the animal it’s just not a good situation.”

The goat impound is a first for the local shelter, but Casagranda said animal control officers respond occasionally to other animals like dogs in bars and other public places.

So far, nobody’s claimed Shirley. Casagranda said charges occur on a case-by-case basis with impounds like this.

“Hopefully we’ll find the owner,” Casagranda said. “If not, hopefully we’ll find her a good new home.”

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