Sheriff's deputies wrangle 60 rented goats that escaped Los Altos Hills property

It was the kind of call sheriff's deputies don't often get:  there was a herd of goats in need of rescue. But they responded last night nonetheless. And they managed to return about 60 escape artists safely back to their pen in Los Altos Hills.

These are rented goats, brought here to eat the weeds on J.J. Harris' property in Los Altos Hills.
They had only been a few hours into the job, when the phone rang. It was law enforcement.

Harris describes the call, "Did you have goats delivered today? I said yeah I did. And she said, well you don't have them now. and I thought oh no! Really where are they?"

As it turns out, they were at a neighbor’s house about a half mile away. They had escaped, despite an electric fence.

And so Palo Alto Animal Control officers (which serve Los Altos Hills) and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office were called out to start herding them back up.

Deputy Michael Low, with the Santa Clara Co Sheriff's Office says, "The deputies were out there assisting with animal control and kind of corraling and herding the goats to make sure they did not get hurt." 

They used a bucket of feed and a borrowed sheep dog.

Harris says, "We herded them down the driveway and they went up the street so that was not good. So we herded them back. And they went back to the woman's house, my poor neighbor.

Eventually, all 60-or so goats, were returned, safe and sound. And Harris says she's solved the mystery of  how they escaped.

She says, "I know how they got out. cause the gate was latched. But it's just a gate. And they just pushed it and popped the latch open."

And while there's been a fair bit of "kidding" around today, Sheriff's deputies say, it was all in a night's work.

Low says, "Our deputies do a lot of different things out there on patrol, not just take people to jail and handle your typical calls. But in this case we were able to help out."

The gate has now been secured with a 2x4. And the rented goats are expected to stay here for about a week eating their fill.