The persistent knocking on the Sebastopol woman’s front door at about 1:40 a.m. Monday probably was startling enough.

But then she found her middle-of-the night guest was a goat.

The goat with the long, curved horns wasn’t going away and the Mitchell Court resident called a number for Sonoma County Animal Control. She was directed to the police department, Sebastopol Police Chief Jeff Weaver said Tuesday.

“The goat was still banging its head into the door when the officers arrived,” Weaver said.

Officers Andy Bauer and Victor Aguilar used an animal catch pole to corral the goat and waited for a county animal control officer to come take it to the county shelter.

The woman’s home is on the edge of city limits near Pleasant Hill Road with plenty of rural properties nearby and the goat apparently had wandered from home. Monday the goat’s owner was found and they were expected to collect the animal from the shelter, bringing the highly unusual police call to a happy ending.

Thinking it was a fun story to share, Weaver Monday posted a photo of one of his officers with the goat and a brief summary of the incident on the department’s Facebook page.

By Tuesday evening it had received 951 “likes” - and growing - and more than 35,000 views, the most popular item by far of anything the agency ever had posted.

“That’s considered ‘viral’ by our standards,” Weaver said.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport.