Where did the Jacobsen Road goats and their feeder go?

(Photos courtesy Suzanne Krom)
E-mail asked the question. So did a WSB Forums post. Where did the goats go?

“The goats” referred to JJ, Deli, and Bama, who live along Jacobsen Road, the winding bluffside road that runs eastward from Beach Drive, just south of Me-Kwa-Mooks. They endeared themselves to passersby, particularly starting a few months ago, when their owner, George Capestany, put in a little “feeding station” like the kind often seen at petting zoos.

Nearby resident Suzanne Krom explained, “For 25 cents, we could get a handful of goat goodies they gently lapped up. If the goats weren’t waiting for us up by their feeding station, there was a bell we could ring and they would come running to greet us and eager for treats.”

About a week ago, Suzanne noticed the machine and bell were gone, “leaving only an empty wood frame as a painful memorial.”

She reached George, who told her that after some late-night visitors came by over the preceding weekend, a neighbor had complained and said the feeding station had to go.

Suzanne says she’s heartbroken: “When I spoke with him, he told me how much joy it had brought so many of our neighbors, and to his family, as well. I know this is true, as it’s become the talk of my group of friends and neighbors. Before this turn of events, almost every time I passed their home, there was a person taking photos of the goats, or kids and parents feeding them, with the kids often giggling – everyone was clearly enjoying this light spot in their day.” She said George told her he would return the feeding station if it seemed to have community support.

We contacted him to see if that were true. First, he told us the story:

I put the feeder up on March 26th. I installed it because people were always wanting to see the goats. They would have regular visitors but weren’t always up at the fence. I thought it could be a way of having people interact with the goats that would be a good experience for both. THAT WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT! It became unbelievably popular. When I first put it up I thought I’d refill the machine maybe 2 or 3 times a month. I grossly underestimated volume. It started out slow and then I was filling the machine 2 or 3 times a week and eventually everyday. Sometimes twice a day! There were all kinds of people enjoying and feeding the goats. And the goats were loving it too. I was amazed how many people thanked me for putting the feeder up. I was also amazed how many adults would make special trips just to feed the goats. People came from Queen Anne, Magnolia, Ballard, I made it a habit of asking how they heard about it. The other thing that was great was the number of little kids who were getting exposed to something they perhaps hadn’t seen before. I mean, it is somewhat bucolic and that’s hard to find in the city. It’s popularity may have lead to it’s demise.

George said he was worried that the feeder might be an irresistible trouble magnet come summer – and weekend before last, he says, that happened, leading a neighbor, he said, to declare “The goats have become too much,” bringing too much traffic, noise, and raising safety concerns.

He says he offered to take the feeder down at night, but the neighbor only seemed placated by the concept of complete removal. In retrospect, he says, he wishes he had refused, but “not knowing if my goats and I were fully in compliance of the law, I agreed. I needed to make sure that I was within my rights to do what I was doing. I put up the sign (which I
have attached) and started to research what I could and could not do. Turns out that all I needed to do was get a business license and everything else was completely legal and, to put it in the words of the city official ‘a really cool thing’.”

(Yes, city law allows pet goats.)

George vows, “I am absolutely going to put the feeder back up! The number of people who
have been put off by this incident has been remarkable. I have had people actually knock at the front door asking what happened and are we going to bring it back. I love my goats! First and foremost I want them to be safe and sound. … My goats are very calming to me.
Sometimes I like to sit and just watch them.”

No timeline, though. But the goats even have their own e-mail address – westseattlegoats@gmail.com.

P.S. Two of the goats appeared here two years ago, also thanks to a photo by Suzanne.

9:46 PM UPDATE: The goat feeder is back, as mentioned by commenters; we drove by to verify a short time ago.

82 Replies to "Where did the Jacobsen Road goats and their feeder go?"

  • rob June 17, 2014 (4:53 pm)

    One small step for the goats and a leap for mankind

  • birdgeek June 17, 2014 (4:54 pm)

    I heart these goats so much! I hope the neighbor has a change of heart… there are MUCH worse “nuisances” to have in your hood. Trust me, we’re just up the hill in “bark-landia”. “Bring back the goats!” :D

  • Jason June 17, 2014 (5:00 pm)

    How have I never heard of this!? When it goes back up I’m bringing my kids, what a great addition to the community!

  • kumalavula June 17, 2014 (5:06 pm)

    !que vivan las cabras!

  • torrey June 17, 2014 (5:10 pm)

    I love the goats! I run past them every day, and they bring so much joy. I especially love watching those who arrive in strollers enjoy feeding them.

  • astrogirl30 June 17, 2014 (5:24 pm)

    Thanks for posting this story WSB. We drive past the goats quite often and I noticed they were missing last weekend. George please bring them back soon…they bring a smile to my face every time I see them.

  • drahcir61 June 17, 2014 (5:26 pm)

    Sounds like George’s goats were butting heads with the neighbor, & the goats will always win that battle.

  • Cait June 17, 2014 (5:26 pm)

    I was also curious about the goats that used to live on the hillside on Beach Drive in the house with all the beautiful decorations in the windows… Sort of by Salty’s?

  • CanDo June 17, 2014 (5:46 pm)

    Yay for the goats!!! :)

  • Bree June 17, 2014 (5:49 pm)

    Stopped this morning to feed them and noticed it was gone. It has been quite therapeutic to stop and see them & feed them. I wonder if we could bring some carrots for them….I suppose that would upset things too. Look forward to the day it is back up again. Thank you for this special oasis for whomever to drop by and smile and enjoy your special goats. Thank you!!!!!!! We have talked & met & you yourself are a wonderful person.

  • Lura Ercolano June 17, 2014 (5:52 pm)

    It makes me very happy to know that the feeder will be coming back. I love feeding the goats, and I love seeing others enjoy the goats.
    Thank you for enriching our world.

  • JA June 17, 2014 (6:08 pm)

    The world needs more of these simple pleasures. Bring back the goats, George. You have our support!

  • westseattledood June 17, 2014 (6:15 pm)

    George Capestany? Is that little George from the TL Tennis Club by any chance? Old childhood neighborhood, perhaps?

    Regardless, the goats are famous in Tacoma and Pierce County too. Early in the spring I took pictures and posted them on my Facebook page. A hit with my goat loving friends in South Pierce County :)

    Good to know they will return. They are a pleasure on one of the best long walks on Beach Drive/Upper Alki. It is treat time not just for the goats and a great motivator to get up the hill. :D

  • fiz June 17, 2014 (6:30 pm)

    Yaaay! We’ve been saving quarters for our next walk from the Junction to the water, will bring them with us.
    Thank you!

  • alki resident June 17, 2014 (6:36 pm)

    Cait- Thats Harbor Avenue, not Beach Drive and they’re still there I believe.
    Ive never heard of these goats on Jacobsen Road. Ill be stopping by, I love goats. Address please?

  • I. Ponder June 17, 2014 (6:45 pm)

    Neighborhood isn’t the same without the goat feeder and bell. What’s next, will people complain about the little neighborhood libraries? The goat feeder and libraries bring a sense of community. Someone complained? Good for them. However, they deserve to be ignored.

  • Kimberly June 17, 2014 (6:50 pm)

    I am so happy that the goats and feeder will be back soon! This is an educational opportunity for many humans. It is good for us to see how to live with animals, like goats, in the city!

  • pupsarebest June 17, 2014 (7:09 pm)

    I sure hope the goat feeding station returns, it truly was a great offering to the community.
    Thank you, George!
    I stopped by one beautiful afternoon a few weeks ago, fed the little guys, took some pix, and posted them on my Facebook page—easily one of the most “Liked” things I’ve ever shared on Facebook. :)

  • Julie June 17, 2014 (7:09 pm)

    I’d like to hear from the neighbor, too. We don’t know that person’s point of view; maybe there’s a problem we could help solve. I do hope the goat-feeding can continue without causing animosity and unhappiness.

  • Gittel June 17, 2014 (7:12 pm)

    I enjoy the goats a lot and/but hope he locks them in a barn at night, for their own protection.

  • K'lo June 17, 2014 (7:13 pm)

    Ba-a-a-h Humbug! To the neighbor….

  • iml June 17, 2014 (7:20 pm)

    Yay! Bring back the goats. My dog loves stopping to watch them on our walks.

  • Rhonda Porter June 17, 2014 (7:39 pm)

    I <3 goats! :) They make me smile.

  • A.B. June 17, 2014 (8:17 pm)

    yay!!! i miss the goats!!! we cant have pets at this time and our children loved going down the street to see the amazing goats!!
    Cant wait until they come back! =D

  • Lorie June 17, 2014 (8:29 pm)

    So happy the goat station is back. Was pulling up the road this evening when George was putting goat goodies back. As a fellow neighbor it brings joy and a bright spot in my day as well as so many others. One person that complains will have to get over it because this makes Jacobsen Road a happy place.

  • I. Ponder June 17, 2014 (8:53 pm)

    Just rode my bicycle up Jacobsen and the feeder machine was back!

  • Dan June 17, 2014 (9:17 pm)

    Yeah!!! Thank you George. Such a treat for all.

  • JoAnne June 17, 2014 (9:19 pm)

    Hmm…Allowing lots of people to interact with goats is wonderful thing and very generous & kind, but it doesn’t seem right to just completely blow off the neighbor.
    We don’t know their situation, and I feel that people should have some expectation of privacy in their own homes.

  • arbrhts June 17, 2014 (9:34 pm)

    I bow down to the goats.

  • CeeBee June 17, 2014 (9:48 pm)

    I never knew of the goats, so will have to make a trip by. How is it that the goats do not weight 700 pounds? They sound like they are getting fed every 15 minutes. What a great thing, as long as they don’t explode :-)

  • kate June 17, 2014 (10:03 pm)

    I love the goats! I’ve had multiple chats with George and consider him to be a such a great addition to the neighborhood. I do understand the worries of the neighbor. Jacobson is a tricky road with curvy turns. I also worry about the well being of the goats; it would be heartbreaking if anything bad happened to them. I look forward to the return of the feeder and hope this story has a happy ending for all!

  • Kerwitty June 17, 2014 (10:21 pm)

    Feeding the goats is a highlight of my walk. Glad the feeder us back. I hope his neighbors are ok with it. I’ll see you three kids tomorrow!

  • Ray June 17, 2014 (10:26 pm)

    My guess is that the neighbor issue was tied to:
    1. Crowds of cars/people at inopportune times that probably were blocking parking/driveways
    2. Trash from visitors being left nearby
    3. After hours noise from visitors.

    There are several valid reasons for a neighbor to be upset about this. Hopefully they can work something out.

  • Livin' in West Seattle since '91 June 17, 2014 (10:30 pm)

    Ooh la la! I wanna see goats!

  • Wallly June 17, 2014 (10:43 pm)

    I’m really happy the goat feeding will be back! My friends and I have enjoyed going to see them. I’m sure that most people will be respectful of neighbors. It would be a shame to let a few ruin it for everyone.

  • kid goat June 17, 2014 (10:47 pm)

    Ray, It’s clear you’ve never visited these goats. None of those issues are taking place there. You should go sometime to see for yourself — instead of imagining problems that don’t exist.

  • 935 June 17, 2014 (10:50 pm)


    who will be responsible when an outbreak of e. coli happens?
    If i were the owner, I’d make certain there was no chance of contamination. Maybe his homeowner’s insurance policy has a “goat rider”
    Perchance the neighbor was doing a public service. I sure wouldn’t let my kids get near a biohazard generator without plenty of hand sanitizer at the ready.
    Note to owner-goat food – 25 cents/hand sanitizer 50 cents.

  • alki resident June 17, 2014 (11:06 pm)

    Ray-My guess is
    1. Goats having parties past 10pm
    2. Jealousy that the owners are getting so much positive attention.
    3. Too much haze hanging over property from goats smoking weed.

  • Elizabeth June 18, 2014 (2:41 am)

    Love the Goats!

  • J June 18, 2014 (5:07 am)

    We are so glad to see the neighborhood goats again. We were afraid they took down the feed because we fed them too much!

  • AG June 18, 2014 (8:32 am)

    935, then don’t touch their poop and wash your hands regularly. This is true of any animal waste. Backyard chickens, cats, dogs, etc would also potentially carry disease in their poop. It sounds as though the owner is taking good care of the goats, and if there were manure everywhere, then someone could complain. If there is not, then assume the best of your neighbor’s disposal habits, not the worst. Bottom line, wash your hands and all will be well.

  • JJ,Bama,Deli June 18, 2014 (9:03 am)

    Okay, here are some hard facts:

    1. The feeder has been up for 84 days.

    2. The average amount collected from the feeder is $7.50.

    3. The average per visit “spend” is $.75.

    4. That means that aproximately 10 people or groups of people visit the goats everyday.

    5. Typical visiting times are between 8:00AM and 9:00PM, with the rare visit from a hooligan at 2:15AM.

    6. Leaving the hooligan out of the equation, that equates to .769 people (or groups) per hour visiting the goats.

    7. It’s probably those annoying children with their adorable giggling and the look of wonder in their eyes that’s pushing the neighbor over the edge.

    8. With the overwhelming support this event has had, the feeder is not going anywhere! In fact there is talk of having a neighborhood party with hats, horns, baloons and free goat food to celebrate the return of the feeder. (We’ll see, let’s not get all “crazy”)

    9. Who is the person that knows me from Tacoma and the Tennis Club? I need to know!

    10. The bottom line is, I love my goats! I don’t want anything to happen to them. I really like the fact that other people like my goats too. And I want Jacobsen Road to have a sense of community.
    Thank you for all your wonderful comments.

    Love ewes!

    JJ, Bama, and Deli

  • Lorie June 18, 2014 (9:23 am)

    Yay! These goats are the best!!

    A neighborhood potluck party would be fun to Celebrate the Goats. The grumps can stay home and be grumpy. Cheers!

  • I. Ponder June 18, 2014 (9:44 am)

    Some people think goats are satan’s handmaidens. I’m sure the neighbor is in that camp. I’ve had some awful neighbors here in WS. Older ladies who appear good-natured and harmless but whose hearts are full of evil. While I’m not discounting the possibility of satanic involvement in these instances, I do not believe Satan has corrupted the goats.

  • furor scribendi June 18, 2014 (10:06 am)

    Public health/safety, whether they’re an attractive nuisance, are all valid issues.

    Hopefully extremism on either end of the goat issue will trend toward a more gentle compromise. No one needs outsiders making a little issue bigger.

  • TGL June 18, 2014 (10:17 am)

    Hey JJ/B/Deli, I’ve pondered having some goats in my small meadow but wasn’t sure if it could work for everyone – goats included.

    I’ve read the Urban Goat book and it discouraged me given the tending requirements and costs, etc.

    What’s the best way to contact you for a chat, should you be open to educating another WS goat lover?

    Should I just knock on your door sometime when passing by?

  • AM June 18, 2014 (10:24 am)

    I’ve never known about the goats but will for sure make it a point to visit and support! How fun!! And such a shame one neighbor can ruin it for a whole community. Glad you’ve reacted with maturity, research, and are doing something really fun for west seattle!! I can’t wait until my nephew gets a little older and can go visit the goats and enjoy them too!!

  • Vanessa June 18, 2014 (11:08 am)

    I just love that there is nearly 50 comments about goats. This is so much nicer than the news which is mostly depressing and horrifying. Love the neighbors as you would yourself. We can all get along. Love, Pollyanna

  • kid goat June 18, 2014 (1:55 pm)

    JJ,Bama,Deli —
    Welcome BAAA-CK!!! We’ve missed you so much! I stopped by last night and spent .75 cents on your food and you were so happy to see us. In fact, while we were there, people on foot, bicycle, and even in a car stopped to welcome you back. Everyone was over the moon that we get this little slice of heaven on Jacobson back.

    Can hardly wait for the party — We’ll be there, with bells on!! :)

    …And those happy children laughing just might put the neighbor over the edge. Too bad they can’t channel all that anger into something positive and productive. So much good could be their legacy. Their loss. And our gain.

    THANK YOU for being such a bright spot in our neighborhood!!!

  • Wilson June 18, 2014 (3:29 pm)

    Thank you, thank you. They are beautiful animals
    and delight all ages. Keep up the good neighborhood event.

  • Jen June 18, 2014 (3:32 pm)

    Where is the like button on this post? Stay awesome, West Seattle!

  • Lura Ercolano June 18, 2014 (4:15 pm)

    I love the goats, and I am delighted that the feeder is back.
    But it doesn’t feel right that so many posts are describing the neighbor as evil and angry. George’s own words in the article say, “…he was worried that the feeder might be an irresistible trouble magnet come summer – and weekend before last, he says, that happened…” I do not know what that means, but it doesn’t sound like the problem was the laughter of small children.

  • justducky June 18, 2014 (4:30 pm)

    I never knew about the goats! Moved to WS last August and just love things like this. I grew up in Redmond (when it was all horse pastures) and went to preschool at a little place called ‘Farm School’-they had all the standard barnyard animals for the kids to interact with.
    When I drove up today, the goats came running, thank-you so much for putting a smile on my face.

  • Robert June 18, 2014 (5:27 pm)

    to the sterility knutt,, get a life humans have been interacting with goats for over five thousand years, ONLY after people started slathering on the anti-biotic, anti-germ goo,did the people start getting sick with all of the stuff that sterility brings…go visit north africa or even better south america, the goat is part of the family…

  • bbuddy June 18, 2014 (9:17 pm)


  • kid goat June 18, 2014 (10:24 pm)

    Lura — the neighbor is quite well known to many of us who live nearby…

  • J June 18, 2014 (10:26 pm)

    I was concerned about a police car pulling up behind mine as we were feeding the goats. I Asked if I’d done something wrong. The two young officers asked me if they’d bite, then giggled as they fed the goats themselves. Awesome!

  • Ken June 18, 2014 (11:14 pm)

    Seriously?!? Worrying about if the goats are a bio-hazard? I’d be more worried about germs from a door knob or shopping cart handle. There are probably more random germs and viruses floating in the air than anything a goat might happen to give away.
    So looking forward in going to see, feed and pet them.

  • kid goat June 19, 2014 (1:18 am)

    J — What a great story! For me, these goats are like a magnet, bringing us together. I almost always meet people when I’m feeding them.

    George’s goats create a very special gathering place that helps makes WS one of my favorite places on Earth.

  • Balloons&Cupcakes June 19, 2014 (6:24 am)

    Party for the goats?!! Let us know when and we’ll bring the balloons and cupcakes! (We live here in West Seattle, and the shop is “next door” in Burien!)

  • Neighbor June 19, 2014 (12:31 pm)

    Everyone who likes the Goats, the feeder, the poop, the noise, the increased traffic and invasion of privacy. Please invite George and all three goats to your house every evening for dinner and ALL weekend. Especially the parents whose children run ahead across traffic and scream when it is time to go.

  • Neighbor June 19, 2014 (12:42 pm)

    Oh and I forgot the rats…you see George does not clean up after these beloved goats.

  • Totes-my-goats June 19, 2014 (1:28 pm)

    I live in West Seattle and I heart goats!!

  • Part of Comunity June 19, 2014 (2:13 pm)

    I know the neighbor and they always have helped everyone especially George and his family. All they are asking is that George abide by the Home business guidelines that are set by the city of Seattle.

    23.42.050 Home occupations

  • Part of Comunity June 19, 2014 (2:17 pm)

    Taking the feeder down does not stop people from petting the goats. Amazing!

  • Neighbor June 19, 2014 (2:26 pm)

    Yes! It was very interesting. When the goat feeder was down very few came to pet the goats. No other change. Goats still there for the petting.

  • Lifetime WS Resident June 19, 2014 (3:07 pm)

    Why doesn’t George have a goat rental service for kid’s birthday parties similar to a bouncy house?
    Hat’s on the goats and party horns and leave the neighbor alone…..

  • Neighbor June 19, 2014 (3:28 pm)

    People are not doing the simplest safety step by using the cross walk.

  • Neighbor June 19, 2014 (3:43 pm)

    When the goat feeder was down one family, grandmother and two grandchildren, trimmed the blackberries fed the goats,petted the goats, took pictures with the goats, used the cross walk and did not once ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ……the bell.

  • Compromise? June 19, 2014 (3:55 pm)

    Put feeder and bell out at 9am, take down at 6pm. Compromise.

    Kids still get to mingle with kids, and also give a break in the evening.

  • Lura Ercolano June 19, 2014 (4:15 pm)

    Hmm, now I think I have a clearer picture.
    It’s a busy street in any circumstances.

  • sam-c June 19, 2014 (4:31 pm)

    I can see where the neighbor might get frustrated. But hey, neighbor, at least be glad that your goat neighbors aren’t attracting lots of frequent loud obnoxious traffic at odd hours because your goat neighbors are dealing drugs! I can tell you that is really a frustrating neighbor to have. (thank goodness that ended in my case) count your blessings.

    now that I have heard about these goats, I will have to take a look. however, we have goats nearby too, but no $0.25 feeding station.

  • Lura Ercolano June 19, 2014 (5:01 pm)

    I love the goats. And I totally love seeing how passers-by are gladdened by the goats. And this is a busy street at all times, with bikes and walkers and noise, regardless of the goats.
    The situation makes me think of the Menashe’s Christmas lights, which are enjoyed by young and old, and certainly increase traffic.

  • Neighbor June 19, 2014 (6:55 pm)

    Menashe’s have a very specific 30 day permit with limited hours.

  • Kind&Considerate June 19, 2014 (8:34 pm)

    If we are kind, considerate and respect the goats all will be right in the WS world. Jacobsen is a wonderful road….spread the love.

  • Other neighbor June 19, 2014 (9:16 pm)

    The goats…. none of our business… we are not told what to do or not do on our properties. Rat problems…ummm we live next to a green belt…goats or no goats …rats in W Sea for several centuries. Children laughing… how dare they…the nerve these children have.

    I’m still waiting for an actual arguement for taking down the goat feeder.

    This family bought land then goats and every one else is happy about this happy place on Jacobsen.

    Live and Let Live!

  • Goat Supporting Neighbor June 19, 2014 (9:38 pm)

    I started to pen a note to the non-goat supporters and quickly realize I’m probably writing to one person. This is ridiculous.
    Bringing more attention to the Jacobsen goats is making your perceived problem worse. Let it go.

  • kid goat June 19, 2014 (10:40 pm)

    Lura — I think that analogy of the Menache’s over Christmas is similar in that the goats bring the community great joy. But there are nowhere near the numbers of people coming by as you see at the Menache’s.

    George had the numbers in his 6/18 comment at 9:03 am. — “4. That means that approximately 10 people or groups of people visit the goats everyday.”

    One person or small groups now and then stop to visit the goats.

    This evening when I was there, a woman with her two grandchildren joined me, and then about 10 minutes later a man bicycling up the hill stopped to be part of our small group.

    The children stayed next to their grandmother and all three were laughing and having a fantastic time together. When the sign isn’t there, that’s what we lose.

    Before this whole situation with the neighbor started, I fed the goats several times a week. I can think of at least 5 occasions that the neighbor who wants the feeding station removed called down to me from their balcony, “Stop ringing the bell. Stop feeding the goats. We hate the goats!”

    It was like a mantra. I thought they were kidding as I couldn’t imagine anyone hating these peaceful animals. But I now see that they were quite serious.

    It’s incredibly sad to me that they can’t enjoy this peaceable kingdom we live in.

    If only we all had problems like living near a kind family who wants to bring so much joy into our little corner of the ‘hood.

    I’d trade places in an eyeblink to live next to George’s family and their happy – and very well fed — goats.

  • iml June 20, 2014 (11:25 am)

    I can understand the neighbors frustration with the noise from the bell, but blaming the goats for rats when you live on a green belt with poor drainage? That’s a stretch.

    Too bad the neighbor wasn’t looking over his balcony when the jogger a few weeks ago was assaulted. Sounds like more traffic on Jacobsen is just what we need to increase safety.

  • sam-c June 20, 2014 (12:34 pm)

    I’d think that a ringy bell would beat base-ey, thumping, window rattling, profanity laced rap music any day.

  • Mary S. June 20, 2014 (1:34 pm)

    I’ll trade you fun-loving goat feeders for the young “toughs” who like to hang out in front of our property (where it’s somewhat hidden from traffic/the po-po) and throw their trash into our yard. Yes, we’re getting a camera — it’s come to that.

    (I do think maybe the bell ringing would drive me crazy if I lived near there. But I love the goats.)

  • WSB July 3, 2014 (2:00 pm)

    A reminder that (a) one handle per person per thread and (b) if you have allegations to make about someone, the step to take is to contact the authorities.

Sorry, comment time is over.