Federal Way family fighting to keep pet goat

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- A Federal Way girl is fighting to keep her pet goat, but neighbors have complained about the odor and are pressuring the city to do something.

Ava Annisipour decided she wanted a pet goat when her grandpa took her to a golf course that had two of the animals.

"After my father passed away, she started really wanting one. I was thinking it would go away, it didn't," said Ava's mother, Kelly.

Three years ago Kelly finally decided to get her girl a pygmy goat, named Lilly. Last year the family had the goat certified as a service animal after a Federal Way code enforcer told them the goat was violating a city animal ordinance.

The family has since added a second goat, named Juju, who is not certified as a therapy animal.

Kelly said the goats help Ava's mental health.

"They calm her down a lot, they make her happy," she said. They just emotionally bring her down to where she's not anxious, she's not worried."

The problem is, the family can't legally have Juju. Animal Control officers have received several complaints about the animals, and recently told the family that Juju has to go.

In her report, the officer said she noticed the odor of feces and urine and saw flies and piles of goat manure on the property. With the two goats and two dogs, the officer said there were just too many animals for the size of the property.

Next door neighbor Giselle Blanton filed one of the complaints. She said noise is an issue, and she's had enough of the goats.

"We try to come out in the evening and enjoy time on our patio, and we can't stand the patio. It smells like a farm yard," she said.

Blanton said she just wants the Annisipour family to obey the law.

"It's a simple matter of she's breaking the law," she said. "I feel like what she needs to do is be within the parameter of the law, which means no goats."

Ava bottle fed both goats and hates the idea of losing either one of them.

"I guess maybe we shouldn't have gotten the second goat because we knew we were not supposed to have the first goat, but Lilly really wouldn't have survived without (Juju)," Ava said.

A city spokeswoman said she's trying to reach an agreement with the Annisiopour family to find a new owner for Juju.

In the meantime, an officer will return to the home on Wednesday and the family will face another citation if the goat is still there.