ARLINGTON, Wash. -- It started with one sick goat that Ellen Felsenthal rescued fromSeattle'sWoodland Park Zoo.

He was going to beput down, and hewas so sweet I just couldn't let that happen, she said.

Ziggy has now passed on. His final resting place is marked by a pile of stonesin Felsenthal's pasture, but his legacy lives on in herds.

We miss him, said Felsenthal. He's the goat that started it all.

What started as a single act of compassion for a rather goofy goat turned into Felsenthal's mission in life.

They have taken over my life! she laughs. I love them, don t get me wrong!

Felsenthalhas rescued more that 1,200 goats since she opened New Moon Farm 15 years ago. There are plenty of dog, cat and even horse rescue organizationsaround, but not very many that tend to goats.

I love it, she said. But part of my worry is that if I didn t do it, no one else would.

Each goat has a story. Most have beenabused or abandoned. Others would ve ended up on someone s dinner table.

Most of them come to uswith abackstorythatis not very happy. It s our goal to make the future story good, she said.

But Felsenthal, who works full-time as a photography instructor at Everett Community College, is ill. She has an auto-immune disorder that makes her muscles cramp and drains her energy. She figures she has three years before she can t take care of her beloved goats anymore.

I ll probably start crying if I talk about it, she said, feeding treats to the 38 goatscurrently in her care. It would break my heart to have to close the rescue.

Felsenthalis trying to buy the property adjacent to her farm to expand the sanctuary andbuild a house where a full-time caretaker could take the reins, allowing Felsenthal to focus on her health. The whole thing would cost about $300,000.

I just can t keep doing it, she said. Something s got to change.

One campaign has raised $40,000 toward her goal, but much more is needed. For now, the goats keep coming.Felsenthal takes in at least 150 every year, nursing them back to health and finding them permanent homes. If she isn t able to take them in, most will be left to starve or be euthanized.

It s something Ellen can t stand to think about, but she has to, as time is running out.

I hate the thought of them going to slaughter simply because there is nowhere for them to go.

For more informationabout how you can help, visit

Amusicalfundraiser featuring local metal and punk bandsis scheduled for Saturday, August 9 at the Mirkwood & Shire Cafe in Arlington. Felsenthalis hosting an open barn the following Sunday ather farm. All are welcome.

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