UPDATE 6:00 P.M.| There’s some admitted uncertainty at the Seattle Animal Shelter about whether the animal is a mountain goat or a big-horned sheep. But a quick Google image search indicates it might be the latter.
Seattle Animal Shelter manager Don Baxter said its fleece, curled horns and downward-pointing tail could be hints that it’s probably a sheep.
Tammy Dunakin of Rent-A-Ruminant LLC on Vashon Island says it’s a Painted Desert sheep, a domestic breed. She said it might be mixed with another type of domestic breed, but is not a wild animal.
Baxter agrees the animal is domestic and familiar with people because it’s been calm as shelter workers have entered its cage to give it food and water.
“If I’m able to catch a wild animal, it’s got some issues – it’s sick or something,” Baxter said. “You’re usually not able to catch a wild animal easily. So he’s probably someone’s pet.”
If no one claims the animal, Baxter said the shelter will find an animal rescue for him.
Apparently Olympic National Forest isn’t the only place to be wary of mountain goats: A Seattle police officer said he spotted a full-grown one weighing about 60 pounds this morning in the middle of Beacon Hill.
While driving past Beacon Avenue South and South Leo Street at about 8:30 a.m. Monday, the officer spotted the horned ruminant trotting down the street, according to the SPD online blotter. Because goats are known to be aggressive, the officer called for backup that was eventually able to get a leash around the animal.
Officers couldn’t find the animal’s owner, so they turned it over to the Seattle Animal Shelter.
A goat of that size can’t legally be a pet in Seattle, said Don Baxter, Manager of Animal Care and Volunteers at Seattle Animal Shelter in the blotter item. Baxter said the animal could have also wandered away from work as a “for-hire” goat rented out to forage on overgrown plants.