Pygmy Service Goat in the Running for America’s Favorite Pet

by Caitlin Berard

It’s not at all unusual to see a small dog sporting a frilly outfit with a bow on top, but how many times have you seen a goat in a tutu?

Tinkerbell the pygmy service goat is no ordinary farm animal. She lives in the house with her owners, snuggles on the couch with her siblings (a dog and a cat), and enjoys sunny afternoons at the local playground. And, of course, Tinkerbell can often be spotted wearing a bow or hat and colorful dress.

According to her owner, the pygmy goat is a registered service animal who was raised on a bottle and can’t get enough fresh peaches. With her many winning attributes, including “cuteness, personality, looks, and brains,” in her owner’s words, Tinkerbell could be this year’s champion in the America’s Favorite Pet competition.

Annual Competition Opens to Goats and Other Unusual Pets

In years past, the competition was limited to “typical” pets. This year, however, they branched out to the “wild side” and welcomed “animals of all shapes, sizes, and species” to enter.

The winner of the America’s Favorite Pet competition receives a $10,000 prize and a spotlight piece in InTouch Magazine. However, that’s not the true purpose of the contest.

By entering the competition, Tinkerbell the pygmy service goat and her fellow pets are helping to fund animal rescue efforts. As of this year, AFP has funded the rescue of more than 5,300 animals countrywide through the PAWS Foundation.

According to the official PAWS website, the foundation “has united more than 130,000 cats and dogs with loving families, cared for more than 140,000 sick, injured and orphaned wild animals, and made the world a better place for countless others through outreach, education and advocacy.”

Are Pygmy Goats Good Pets?

Dogs and cats are by far the most typical house pet, followed rather distantly by fish. But if you want a more unusual furry friend to welcome you home after a long day at work, a pygmy goat could be for you.

One of the smallest goats, pygmies range between 15 and 20 inches in height and only weigh around 40-50 pounds. Like a dog or cat, these tiny goats live 10-15 years. That said, their lifespan can vary depending on the level of care they receive.

So, at this point, it might be beginning to seem like pygmy goats and dogs are apples to apples. Make no mistake, however, goats require a different type and level of care than dogs.

Despite their small size, pygmy goats need a large outdoor space in which to roam and play. They also prefer to live in herds. Because of that, you’ll need more than one for your goats to stay happy and healthy.

Pygmy goats get bored easily and tend to jump and kick when they do, so furniture and goats don’t mix. Not to mention, goats cannot be housebroken. But if you have a big backyard and/or the patience for changing goat diapers, pygmies could be your new best friends!