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82-year-old man couldn’t leave Bob on the farm, so he moved the … – CBC.ca

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Albert and Yoka Hoogendoorn moved from a farm to a two-story home Albert built himself in Ingersoll, Ont., and their goat Bobby Brown went with them. The goat is housed in a heated shed in the backyard, despite a municipal bylaw not allowing farm animals within city limits.

Albert Hoogendoorn built his pet goat a heated shed in backyard, despite bylaw banning farm animals

rebecca zandbergen

Rebecca Zandbergen · CBC News

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Bobby Brown lives in a heated, straw-filled, newly built shed behind his owner's home in Ingersoll, Ont.

Bobby Brown lives in a heated, straw-filled, newly built shed behind its owner’s home in Ingersoll, Ont. (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC News)

Leaving Bobby Brown behind was never an option for Albert and Yoka Hoogendoorn, who recently moved to Ingersoll, Ont., from a farm.

Bob, as he’s known, is a 13-year-old brown and black goat.

“We would never have left the goat on the farm or any place,” said Albert, 82, founder of  Triple H Concrete Products in Putnam, Ont. “The goat is just a part of the family and we drag him all over the place.”

The couple, who immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands 47 years ago, had been living in an apartment inside a barn on a hobby farm on Lake Whittaker, southeast of London near Avon, Ont., before relocating to Ingersoll.

The goat is just a part of the family and we drag him all over the place.– Albert Hoogendoorn, 82

They moved last June, into a two-story home on Cherry Street that Albert built himself over the 2½ years. With Bob in mind, he also built a heated backyard shed, where the couple’s stubborn, elderly goat is now living out his days.

Yoka and Albert Hoogendoorn and their goat, Bob, who lives in a newly-built, heated shed behind their home in Ingersoll, Ont.

Yoka and Albert Hoogendoorn and their goat, Bob, who lives in a newly built, heated shed behind their home in Ingersoll, Ont. (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC News)

“I built a beautiful home for him,” said Albert. “He has his own house and that is electrically heated. He has water there, and he has his salt lick stone and his hay and everything.”

Albert takes Bob for fair-weather off-leash walks around the neighbourhood, much to the surprise of those passing by. 

“When it’s only a little bit rain or anything, a little bit snow, or when it is too cold, he is not going,” he laughed.

A neighbour snapped this photo of Albert Hoogendoorn on a walk with his goat, Bob, this past summer.

A neighbour snapped this photo of Albert Hoogendoorn on a walk with his goat, Bob, this past summer. (Submitted by Amy Plewes)

“I think it’s incredible that we have a neighbour who walks his goat,” said Amy Plewes, who lives across the street from the Hoogendoorns. “We have lots of neighbours on our street who walk their dogs every day, so why not a goat?

“I did a double take the first time I saw them, but now it seems quite normal. He’s definitely a great addition to our little neighbourhood.”

Albert Hoogendoorn moves pet goat to Ingersoll

Hoogendoorn says Bob, the couple’s 13-year-old goat, is living in luxury in a newly built, heated backyard shed at their home in Ingersoll.

Farm animals banned

The problem, of course, is that a municipal bylaw bans farm animals within town limits. 

When CBC News first started poking around about the goat and his owner, neighbours on social media rushed to Albert’s defence, worried any publicity would result in the couple losing their longtime pet.

When asked for a comment, Mayor Brian Petrie said he didn’t have one and wasn’t able to say if anyone had complained. The bylaw process in Ingersoll is complaint-driven, with officials only responding when called. 

“They won’t take the goat away because I won’t let them,” said Albert, who insists he’s not worried about a little exposure.

“The goat stays till he dies.”

LISTEN | Albert Hoogendoorn talks about his goat and why he goes all out for Bob: 

london morning 2019

London Morning7:07Long walks with a pet goat

London Morning host Rebecca Zandbergen chats with Ingersoll’s Albert Hoogendoorn to learn more about the family pet, a goat named Bob.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rebecca zandbergen

Rebecca Zandbergen is from Ottawa and has worked for CBC Radio across the country for more than 20 years, including stops in Iqaluit, Halifax, Windsor and Kelowna. Contact Rebecca at rebecca.zandbergen@cbc.ca or follow @rebeccazandberg on Twitter.