Wigan cyclists urged to be more careful after woman injured while walking her pet goat

An animal lover has urged people to be more considerate of those around them after she was badly injured while walking her pet pygmy goat.

Donna Charnock regularly walks her goats along The Lines in Standish and says they are popular with passers-by and those living in the area.

But she is currently battered and bruised after one of her goats, named Porthos, was spooked by cyclists, bolted and dragged her along the ground.

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Donna, who lives in Standish with husband Roy, said: “We were alongside Standish High School’s playing fields when two cyclists - a man and woman who appeared to be in their 20s or 30s - passed us at speed abreast. This caused Porthos, a powerfully-built animal, to bolt. I lost my footing and was dragged along the gravel surface for several yards. I had to release Porthos, who galloped off leaving me on the ground, and my husband had to leave me to sprint after him.

Donna Charnock and husband Roy with goat Porthos

“The cyclists failed to stop, though they would have had to be stone deaf to be unaware of the accident they had caused, as I was screaming, and my husband was shouting after them. Fortunately, a lovely lady saw the incident unfold and came to my assistance. I was dazed, bleeding and in considerable pain; the lenses of my glasses were broken and the frame had cut into my forehead just above my left eye. My right knee had taken much of the impact, as had my head and face.”

Donna, 60, was in so much pain over the following days that her GP told her to go to Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department, fearing she had broken ribs.

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Fortunately X-rays showed no broken bones, but she still has a black eye, bruises and pain two weeks later, and had to spend £120 replacing her broken glasses.

Donna has not yet returned to The Lines, but says she will be back with her goats as nothing like this has happened before and she believes it was a one-off.

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Usually people are glad to see the unusual animals and stop to find out more about them, she said.

She has three goats - named Athos, Porthos and Aramis after the Three Musketeers - and they live in the couple’s large garden.

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But she has urged people to be more considerate when using the area, particularly when there are animals who may not be aware of them.

Donna said: “Be careful. You see people on The Lines with their children out of the prams and if we take the goats, these little toddlers just want to rush over. When I think of that, cyclists could take anybody out - an elderly person out with their dogs or a child.

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“They need to be aware that animals could be there. We are in charge of our responses as humans, but animals respond differently.”

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