Agawam couple suing town for $2M to keep goats - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Agawam couple suing town for $2M to keep goats

An Agawam couple is going to the federal courts in an ongoing dispute with the town over the goats they own and keep in their yard.

There has been an ongoing legal struggle between Al and Suzanne Griffin and the town of Agawam since at least 2006.

The Griffins refer to their goats as their babies, now they're suing the town they live in for $2 million saying their civil rights have been violated.

Longtime friend and real estate broker Richard Fontaine is helping them out legally and spoke on their behalf.

"They're here to help his wife," Fontaine said.

Suzanne Griffin showed doctor's notes saying she has a medical condition that's helped by raw goat's milk.

She also says she and her husband are on disability.

They've filed a lawsuit at the Federal Courthouse in Springfield. They're also hoping a federal judge will block the town's attempts to come onto their property and take the goats until the whole matter is settled.

"Just so they can stay. Then we can focus on the next step as far as the goats staying forever, as well as a lawsuit for all the pain and suffering they've put this couple through," Fontaine said.

Through the years several neighbors have filed complaints to the mayor's office, saying the goats smell and don't belong in the neighborhood.

Neighbors declined to go on camera, but told CBS 3 that they want the goats gone.

Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen also declined to comment saying the matter is in litigation.

City officials have said the Griffin's backyard may be zoned for agriculture but their front yard is zoned residential, meaning the more than 10 goats they have on their property can't live there.

"I can't smell them, they're very clean and the town is trying to get rid of them so I'm just trying to do all I can to help them out," Fontaine said.

There is a hearing on Sept. 9 in the state housing court in Springfield that the town has requested so they can enter the Griffins' property and remove the goats.

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