An Unleashed Dog Attacked Two Goats at the Arboretum

The dog found a way through an electrified fence.

arboretum goats

Photo by Madeline Bilis

For two weeks, four goats at the Arnold Arboretum have been working diligently to clear out overgrowth from areas near Peters Hill. On Wednesday, their endless chomping was interrupted when an unleashed dog found a way through their electrified enclosure.

Jamaica Plain News reports the dog attacked the goats, wounding two of them.

“[The goats are] both fine. They have wounds,” Jon Hetman, director of external relations and communications for the Arnold Arboretum, told Jamaica Plain News. “They’re not perfect. They are going to need to be looked after for those wounds.”

According to a park goer, one goat had lacerations on both knees. The other had cuts on the front and back of its ear as well as a large gouge on its back leg. Both goats were able to walk with a limp.

When the Arboretum first announced the introduction of the goats, it warned of the electrified enclosure, adding that touching it can cause serious harm. A release advised visitors not to touch the fences and to keep all dogs leashed while in the Arboretum.

Hetman explained the fence’s electric current may have been weaker than normal because of Wednesday’s overcast weather. He said the dog’s owner is believed to have let the dog in the park without a leash multiple times before, and that Animal Control and Boston Police are interviewing the owner.

“I think the point we need to underscore is people always need to have their dogs leashed in the Arboretum,” Hetman said. It’s a state law, a city law and a park law—and people need to follow and respect the law for everyone’s safety.”