By Christy Avery

One spring day, staff answering the Seattle Animal Shelter’s complaint line fielded an unusual call: a woman reported finding a goat in her bed.

The woman, who lived in the South Park neighborhood, had left her back door open. A stray Angora goat had found his way into her yard, entered the home, and climbed onto the bed.

When SAS Humane Law Enforcement officer Matt Belue arrived, he found a very large, skittish, horned male goat that did not want to be caught. Officer Belue called for backup, and together the officers managed to corral the goat and guide him up a ramp into the animal control truck’s largest compartment.

The middle-aged goat was thin and frightened; his fleece was in poor condition and crawling with parasites. Staff lined a large kennel with straw and waited to see if an owner would step forward. None did. Fortunately, this stint at SAS would mark a happy turning point in the goat’s life.

While miniature goats are legal within Seattle city limits, livestock breeds such as Angoras – which can reach 225 pounds – are not. Despite this, livestock such as goats, sheep, and pigs have all found their way to SAS at one time or another, and Shelter staff keeps them safe and comfortable until a new home can be found.

Baahaus Animal Rescue Group, which has taken sheep, chickens and ducks from SAS in the past, volunteered to take the goat to the group’s Vashon Island sanctuary. A Baahaus volunteer arrived at SAS and loaded the goat into the organization’s 1971 VW van for the trip across the Sound. The trip happened to coincide with last year’s May Day protests in downtown Seattle, so traffic was gridlocked. The volunteer used the opportunity to chat with nearby motorists – who couldn’t help but notice the goat – about SAS and Baahaus.

At his new home, the goat, now named Griswold, was initially afraid of everything, even falling leaves and birds. “It was like he’d been kept in a dungeon his whole life,” Baahaus volunteer Glenda Pearson recalls. The good news: Griswold is now healthy and happy at Baahaus, where he has bonded closely with the sanctuary’s dwarf goat.

Griswold’s story is a reminder that the Seattle Animal Shelter is the only local shelter with a policy of accepting all animals regardless of species or breed. Gifts to the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) help SAS maintain its commitment to serving all of Seattle’s animals. Please help by donating today.