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Neligh’s City Council will temporarily turn a blind eye for a blind goat, allowing Gizmo to stay within the city limits for the next 30 days.
Rebecca Williams asked the Neligh City Council on Tuesday to consider changing the ordinance to allow her one-month-old blind Nygerian Dwarf goat to remain in her home.
After a 20-minute presentation and discussion, council member Ted Hughes said he was opposed to changing the ordinance; however, he was willing to make a motion permitting Gizmo to stay in the David and Rebecca Williams home on J Street for the next 30 days until a suitable home can be found.
A tearful Williams thanked the council for allowing her family to keep him to continue building strength before leaves their home.
“We’ve been praying for God’s will for this and now we’ll be able to get him off the bottle,” Williams said after the meeting, surrounded by family and friends.
The story on Gizmo has gone viral with several news organizations picking up the story nationally, which Williams said has simply amazed her.
“Gizmo is my blind inspiration. My children and I have learned a lot from him,” Williams told the council. “He is blind, was rejected and trampled. He should be afraid of everything, but he is not.”
Mayor Joe Hartz said he watched the video on Gizmo and recognizes “it’s a miracle folks like you do this, but we’re a country of rules.” Hartz said it’s a tough place to be in, but he questioned where it would stop if an exception was granted.
Council member Leonard Miller said, “I would like nothing better than to allow you to keep him, but it opens a door to what’s next.”
City Attorney Jim McNally disagreed and said the purpose of the law is to protect the community from real nuisances, such as horses, donkeys and sheep. McNally said the council could amend the ordinance to allow this specific breed of goats that are only blind.
No council members spoke in favor of amending the ordinance.
“I love Neligh. I don’t want to cause any trouble,” Williams said. “I’m thankful the City allowed me to keep him.”
Williams said Gizmo will return to Jennifer and Eric Iler’s farm near Elgin. Iler said Gizmo will have his own pen and will still be able to visit people in Neligh on occasion.