The little goat was alone as he wandered through Pelham Bay Park, but his predicament was about to place him in growing company. He shortly became the fourth goat this year to receive sanctuary at our Watkins Glen shelter after being found near the intersection of I-95 South and Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx. The area’s many live markets, where customers purchase animals who are then slaughtered for them on-site, and where these animals are often kept in cramped and filthy cages or pens, provide a possible explanation both for the presence of these creatures in the city and for their wretched condition upon rescue. Reports of candles and animal skulls found in the area suggest another possibility: The goats may have escaped from people who intended to kill them in sacrifice rituals.
Wherever the goats were kept before they ended up on the street, their maladies have told us it was nowhere good. Like those before him, the latest refugee was found sick, emaciated and crawling with parasites. He also bore inexplicable mutilations on his ears, with portions missing from the outer edges of both. The approximately 6-month-old white goat was discovered by a park ranger, who tranquilized him and brought him to the Manhattan Shelter of Animal Care and Control of New York (NYACC), where he was named Jim. From there he traveled to Farm Sanctuary, and we immediately set about nursing him back to health.
Jim convalesced in our Rescue & Rehabilitation Center while we treated him for parasites and a severe case of pneumonia and fed him rich, green Timothy hay to help him gain weight. Now much healthier and happier, he has moved in with some fellow goats and is enjoying their unparalleled companionship.
Though recovered from his physical ailments, Jim still has a lot more healing ahead of him. It is clear that he has known little in the way of human affection, for he remains extremely shy around people and hangs close to his new goat friends when we are near. We are therefore sure to move quietly and speak softly when we are caring for him.
It will take time for him to believe it, but Jim is safe for the rest of his days. We can only speculate about his past, but about his future we are confident: It will be one of care, nourishment, shelter, and the friendship of his own kind. He has joined the distinguished ranks of more than 200 New York City area survivors who have in the past few years found sanctuary here with us or among our network of adopters.
We are now looking for a permanent home that can provide for Jim’s special needs. Because he is easily frightened by people, he needs to live with a herd of small goats, where he will feel safe but not have to contend with larger animals. He needs a lot of time and help to get used to humans. If you are able to provide this kind of home for Jim, please learn more about and apply to join our Farm Animal Adoption Network. You can also get more information about adoption by calling 607-583-2225 ext. 223.