Update: ‘Sweetest little city goat’ is now at a farm and safe after a Jefferson Park family and their neighbors took care of ‘Gerald’ for two days
by BRIAN NADIG
The story of a lost city goat has come to a happy conclusion as a group of Jefferson Park neighbors nursed “Gerald” back to health and sent him to a farm where he is now a family’s pet.
This story has taken several odd twists and turns, and initial reports had the approximately six-month-old goat described as a female, but that was incorrect, according to residents.
He was named Gerald by Rylie, the teenager who recently found him wandering along train tracks near her home and who was able to coax him off the tracks. Gerald then followed Rylie, an animal lover, to her home’s backyard near McVicker and Foster avenues.
A few days earlier Gerald had wandered into a manufacturer on Northwest Highway in Gladstone Park, and it was later returned presumably to his owners, who reportedly told workers that the goat is used for photography purposes and that he had escaped through a hole in a fence. However, for whatever reason there were reports several days later of the same goat near the Austin-Foster Playlot Park.
Rylie’s mom said that Gerald became “instantly attached” to the family and that neighbors provided “good advice and medicine” for Gerald, who seemed under the weather. “It was a group effort,” she said.
“He was so good with people and other pets,” she said. “He had to be around other people a lot. You could tell.”
The livestock tag on Gerald matched the one on the goat at the manufacturer, but a search using the number on the USDA Web site came up empty, according to Rylie’s mom.
“After cleaning numerous goat pebbles and mopping the floors fifty million times, we finally said goodbye and happy days ahead to Gerald. (A neighbor had) a friend with a farm, and they are willing to take Gerald,” the mom said.
“Lots of tears but also lots of pride that (Rylie) did her best to help Gerald … the sweetest little city goat,” the mom wrote in an e-mail to Nadig Newspapers.