LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — Two of the 52 goats from Prosperity Acres, contracted to chew their way through weeds in Leesburg, have died, according to Loudoun County Animal Services and a spokesperson for the town.
Chief of Animal Control Chris Brosan says on July 19, an officer responded to a report of two goats who appeared to be deceased. “It was determined that there was no foul play, and no crime was suspected,” said Brosan.
Animal services also concluded the town was following the law and is not at fault. The town and owner of Prosperity Acres, Mary Bowen, were checking on the goats multiple times a day. Public Information Assistant for the Town of Leesburg Leah Kosin says the town still plans to.
“[Animal services] deemed everything to be safe,” said Kosin. “[The goats] have water plenty of shade, and they went ahead and gave us the green light to go ahead and keep doing what they’ve been doing since last Monday.”
The cause of death is inconclusive. Temperatures reached as high as 99 degrees. The town says it would have been more stressful on the goats to move than to stay put.
“This contract does allow work to resume again in the fall, both at Town Branch and at the Plaza Street Bridge, so as long as everything looks good on our end and Mary’s we plan on bringing them back when it’s a little bit cooler just to go over the vegetation that’s already been cleared,” said Kosin.
The town’s contract also allows it to move forward with using the goats in 2020. Kosin says it will need the town council’s approval for space in the budget. Kosin also says the town has recommended a future study to consider re-engineering its man-made waterways so contracting such work isn’t necessary.