Nashville man fighting to have goat listed as service animal


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WRKN) – A man summoned to court in Davidson County brought what he calls his service animal.

The problem? The so-called service animal is a goat.

Erick Brown was issued an environmental citation by Metro Animal Care and Control for not getting the proper permit to own livestock.

His goat, named Deer, is regularly tethered to his car for hours at a time, according to witnesses.

After multiple warnings, Brown was issued the citation.

When Brown brought the animal to court, dressed in a shirt and tie, he was told the goat was not allowed inside.

“The city tells me I can’t have a goat in the city limits at all, even if it’s a service animal,” Brown told WKRN outside the courthouse.


Friends tell WKRN Brown has a mental handicap and has been homeless for years. They say they have been working to get him a livestock permit so he can legally own the goat in Nashville.

Brown says the animal is therapeutic.

“The goat is important to me because he helps me communicate with people and reach out to people, to be able to spread my message of love and peace throughout the world,” said Brown. “Because I’m a person with disabilities, and I have a hard time talking to people and getting people to talk with me.”

A friend of Brown who is also an attorney told WKRN the judge delayed a decision on his case, giving them time to work on getting a livestock permit. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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