SUGARCREEK BOROUGH, Venango County— No one knows where he’s from, but at least now they know where he is.
The Franklin community, for the past month, has been obsessed with a story about a goat – one that has eluded the police and almost anyone who tried to catch it.
For weeks he wandered through Franklin’s Third Ward, and eventually into Sugarcreek. He appeared on ring door cameras and porches and then he would be gone.
He would appear every now and then, adopting a character almost of the Big Foot type. Unlike the mythical creature, the goat, named William by Patrick Brown, the man who captured him, has been captured and will now live on for the rest of his life at Brown’s rescue, Sugarcreek Sanctuary, where he will be treated as the celebrity he has. turned into.
“That’s what I love to do, spoil the animals,” Brown said. “I’ll give him everything he needs.
On August 30, camera footage from the ring gate showed a goat on a porch in Franklin’s Third Trailer Park. The images showed a goat, with a large beard and long horns, lying around. Other park residents noticed some eaten vegetation, and of course a lot of goat droppings.
Over the next three weeks, various animal organizations and the Franklin Police Department became involved. It didn’t matter who came out to catch the goat, he was too elusive. He would be seen somewhere within the city limits, only to appear five miles away the next day.
A Facebook group has been created to follow the goat, which has over 550 members. The group is filled with pictures of sightings, ideas of where it came from, and everything about the goat, like a post trying to decide on a name.
Roxanne Davies Ziegler created the page for her and her colleagues to follow the goat, hoping to see her in person. She said the page started off as some kind of joke, but quickly took on more meaning.
“It was just a fun story to follow to break up the depressing everyday news,” she said. “It’s amazing how many people were really worried about the goat and praying that it wouldn’t get hit.”
After a few weeks, Patrick Brown became interested in the case. Brown doesn’t know much about goats, but has experience with animal control.
It all started when Brown bought a Texas Longhorn at an auction when a rodeo company went bankrupt. Brown bought the animal on impulse, and when he brought it back to his farm, the animal let loose.
Brown first tried to lock the animal up using brute force, which for obvious reasons didn’t work. It took cunning and a plan to subdue the bull.
“I know a little bit about catching large animals with horns that have come loose,” Brown said.
He then offered his services to the Franklin Police Department, who made him aware of every tip and goat sighting they had.
Brown took it upon himself to grab the goat, not wanting to see anything bad happen to the frightened and lonely animal.
“If I can’t catch it, no one can,” said Brown, who adopted this as his personal mantra.
Brown got involved in the goat feuds on a Sunday and had the goat captive on Tuesday.
Part of the reason Brown wanted to capture the animal quickly is that nothing happened to him. The goat crossed several freeways and Brown said workers in the Sugarcreek Borough almost hit him once.
Brown knew that if the goat caused property damage or injured someone, it would create the right to use force against him. Brown also didn’t want to see him get hit and hurt.
“It’s not a monster, it’s just a herd without a herd,” Brown said.
He thinks the goat, named William, the formal version of Billy, for he-goat, was wandering around in search of his flock.
Brown said when researching goats on the internet, it was unusual to see a male his age who still had his testicles. Brown explained that William was most likely the male of a herd of goats.
“He’s your prize bull, he’s your big gun,” Brown said. At an auction, an animal like this can go anywhere from $ 800 to $ 1,000, which is why he surprises Brown that no one has come forward as missing their goat.
To catch the goat, Brown just used a coin from his playbook. Seeing that the goat still has its testicles, Brown played on instinct, knowing he couldn’t resist a fertile female.
So Brown set to work to find a goat that was big, not pregnant, but could be, and is in heat or about to be in heat, that’s for sale. It took a few days, but he finally found a breeder in Venango. Brown then went up, bought two goats and brought them back.
Brown received some advice from the Franklin Police Department and left the goats tied in a trailer on several occasions to no avail.
Finally, last Tuesday, he was seen on the property of David Combs. Combs said the goat was obsessed with its reflection in one of its vehicles and decided to sit there for once.
Once Brown found out where he was, he brought the goats. “Once I saw him make eye contact with my goat in heat, I knew we had him,” Brown said.
The goats arrived at the Combs property in Sugarcreek at 9:30 am. William was caught at 2:30 p.m.
Brown went to Rural King and bought a large corral and placed it around where the goat was laying, near the females. With the help of Combs and his neighbor, Brown said it was easy to get it.
Combs ended up calling to work on the day off to help catch the goat. His boss told him that his reason for not coming “takes the cake” for the best excuse he has ever heard.
Brown spent hours of his time and a lot of his own money catching the goat. A humble man, the first thing he said about catching William was, “Everyone was amazing, everything I needed was given to me.”
Brown especially wanted to thank the Franklin Police Department, saying they had gone “beyond” to help him safely retrieve the goat.
Even though the goat left the city limits and the department had no obligation to continue following it, they did. “This department is just full of amazing people,” he said.
William is now safe in an enclosure at Brown’s animal sanctuary, Sugarcreek Sanctuary. The plan is to create a large pasture that William can walk in, so he can eat grass and vegetation and drink in the stream that will cross his field.
Brown has contacted a vet to come check on his condition and see if he needs any vaccines or medication.
Brown loves to spoil animals and plans to give William everything he needs. While Brown doesn’t know much about goats, he said he turned to Google to try to find out more and reached out to experts. Brown wants to know what William needs to thrive – maybe a herd of his own.
“I’m going to learn everything I need to make sure he has everything it takes to be happy,” Brown said. “This goat is going to have it made.”
Now that William has his forever home, the next question is what to do with this Franklin mascot.
A lot of people, including Ziegler, want to see the goat as the town’s mascot, or at least see it appear at Apple Fest or other Franklin events.
Unfortunately for her fans, Franklin’s deputy mayor Donna Fletcher said the city has no plans for it.
“He’s in a beautiful, happy place,” said Fletcher. “There are no plans to make him the mascot. I’ve heard it stinks in the heavens.
For those looking to fill their goat fix, Brown has created a goat Facebook page, Williams World. He also has an instagram where he posts photos of all his animals, @TheOldFarmerBrown.
As the shrine got underway, Brown said it could welcome visitors, but only after William was seated.
William’s story now has a happy ending. For the City of Franklin, their month-long search for this elusive creature is over, having captured the ears and minds of many.
Dvorkin can be contacted by email at [email protected]