How are you going to keep them down on the farm after they've grazed on St. Petersburg? That was the quandary faced by Lake Euclid residents Winston Fiore and his girlfriend, Rachel Auer, after a city code inspector decreed their miniature Shetland sheep and a Nigerian dwarf goat violated an ordinance banning livestock from the city limits. But Shelby and Gabby's status as backyard scofflaws facing immediate deportation has changed. A city attorney reminded the City Council last month that a precedent was set in 1992 that allowed the ownership of pot-bellied pigs within St. Petersburg. Council members last week asked the staff to rewrite a city ordinance that bans livestock from within 100 feet of houses. If only all pressing matters before City Council could be resolved as quickly.
One person's illegal critter can be another person's lawn mower. Shelby and Gabby have proven to be highly effective — and energy efficient — landscapers without bothering the neighbors. So while St. Petersburg changes an ordinance to allow urban farming, the animals can unpack. Problem sensibly solved — on the hoof.