McMillan moved from Port Coquitlam two years ago so her family could have the space to start a hobby farm with goats, chickens, and a turkey. (Special to The News)

McMillan moved from Port Coquitlam two years ago so her family could have the space to start a hobby farm with goats, chickens, and a turkey. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge woman upset at anonymous complaint about pet goats

Rhiannon McMillan received a note threatening to call SPCA about loud animals

A ‘passive aggressive’ note about some ‘drama queen’ goats is getting a conversation going about neighbourhood identity in East Maple Ridge.

It all started last Tuesday (May 25) when Rhiannon McMillan – who lives on the corner of 264th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road – found a small scrap of paper in her newspaper box.

“Feed your animals or sell them or we will be calling SPCA. We can hear them cry all the way to our place,” it read.

McMillan said she was taken aback by the communication, and decided to take action.

“I thought, OK, you’re going to call (SPCA) on me? No, no, I’m going to call them myself and invite them here, because I have zero issues.”

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She noted the goats are, “as fat as can be.”

“They scream because they don’t get treats, or their feedbag is half full, and they want even more food, or they just scream because the wind blows south,” she said. ‘They’re known as the drama queens of the animal world.”

McMillan moved to the neighbourhood with her husband, three kids and their cat two years ago.

They left their previous home in Port Coquitlam, as they wanted acreage to raise some animals on a small hobby farm.

“We thought it was great, as it was a combination of rural and non-rural,” she said.

On the south side of Dewdney Trunk Road there are many multi-acre farms, while on the north side sit a number of large suburban plots.

On trips across the street to the local community mailbox, McMillan said she has had the opportunity of meeting many of her neighbours.

“Up until receiving that note, I thought I got along with everybody in the neighbourhood,” she said.

McMillan took to some social media groups and voiced her complaint, and the story has been picked up by local media.

A letter writer to The News said the issue speaks to larger themes.

“It points to a distortion into which we may be sneaking,” Alan Aiken wrote.

“Trees are disappearing. It is in everybody’s interests that at least a part of our area remain rural. It contributes to the variety and beauty of our home. Without trees, water, rollicking domestic animals, wildlife, and a clear and clean view of the mountains, we decompose into a ‘beautiful parking lot.’

“The falling rain and the green are not our enemies but our jewel.”

An in-person approach to resolving the noise complaint would have been preferred, the McMillan added.

“If they had come and knocked on my door and expressed their concerns about my animals, I would have walked them down to my pasture, introduced them to my animals, and I would have apologized for the noise,” she said, noting she would have provided the complainant with some eggs for their troubles.

“They chose a passive aggressive route, and I won’t deal with it.”


Is there more to the story? Email: ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

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