Sick, frail, and yet possessing an indomitable will to live, a 7-month-old goat with a seeming “sixth sense” for direction was found running along a busy road just miles from Farm Sanctuary after escaping from a slaughterhouse in nearby Newfield, New York. Luckily, once the slaughterhouse owner was identified, he agreed to willingly surrender the ailing young animal to the Tompkins County SPCA, and from there, the goat found his way to our New York Shelter for rehabilitative care.
Soon after arriving at Farm Sanctuary, caregivers named the convalescing goat “Doughty” (which means “valiant”). According to National Shelter Director Susie Coston, “Doughty can jump over your shoulders, which is why he wound up with us and not on someone’s plate.” He’s also “jumpy” in another sense, meaning he still suffers from the trauma of nearly being slaughtered for meat. “It will take some time to bring him around,” said Coston, “but he’s obviously got strong survival skills. And he likes talking — make a goat sound, and he’ll make one back every time!”
Coston also points out that Doughty’s personality — and his heroic getaway — challenge the commonly-held assumption that farm animals are merely sources of food. “Goats are exceptionally social and affectionate, and they form very close bonds with each other,” she says, “We at Farm Sanctuary are so lucky to be able to get to know animals like Doughty as the caring, friendly and highly intelligent creatures they really are. I hope that, one day, everyone will appreciate farm animals as uniquely beautiful beings who want to live – just like you and me.”
After several weeks in our Emergency Rescue & Rehabilitation Center, where he was treated for parasite infestation and nursed back to health with proper nourishment, Doughty has since been introduced to many of the other goats residing at our New York Shelter (several of whom are also slaughterhouse escapees), and has already made great friends with Ginger and Curry, a mother and son pair who were rescued from a goat dairy in 2007. Doughty is certainly now in good company as a proud new member of this lively, loving and playful herd.