‘It’s a weird duo, but it works for them,’ said Jennifer Federico, director of animal services at the Wake County Animal Center. ‘Who are we to judge? They obviously love each other.’
Cinnamon and Felix enjoy a nap together. (Wake County Animal Center)
The staff at the Wake County Animal Center in Raleigh, N.C., had a dilemma when a goat named Cinnamon and a dog named Felix showed up together on their doorstep.
The shelter takes in thousands of dogs and cats each year, and generally doesn’t accept farm animals.
But Cinnamon and Felix seemed affectionate toward one another, said Jennifer Federico, director of animal services.
“That was a first,” said Federico, who has worked at the shelter for 12 years. “Most of our dogs aren’t hanging out with goats.”
Federico said she has seen some unusual animals brought in to the shelter. Chickens and a bearded dragon come to mind. But a pet goat with an American bulldog mix?
She made an exception and welcomed them in on March 13. When staffers separated them and put them each in their own enclosure, things did not go well.
“Cinnamon was very upset — she was bleating and calling out to the dog,” Federico said. “She was so stressed and frantic that we realized this pair had to be kept together.
Federico figured the shelter would have the pair for a few days while the owner of the goat and the dog, who lived with them in a residential neighborhood in Raleigh, was hospitalized. The owner did not have anyone who could care for them, according to an animal control officer who dropped them at the shelter, Federico said.
That didn’t go as planned, either.
“After 10 days, we gave the owner notice that it was time to come and get them, but he unfortunately never came in,” she said. “When that happens, the ownership reverts to us.”
At that point, the bonded pair had already won over the staff at the shelter.
“Cinnamon follows Felix everywhere and it was clear they were raised together,” Federico said. “You don’t even need to put a leash on the goat — she’ll simply go where Felix goes. When she became upset, we knew they had to stay in the same holding pen.”