For two goats who had spent their whole lives without names, finding monikers that fit was of the utmost importance. This goat pair, both in their teens, had only ever been referred to as “the goat boys” prior to their arrival at Farm Sanctuary. We believe that names help distinguish our residents as individuals and that every animal deserves recognition as someone, not something. Our social media community agreed—and when we asked for help in naming these goat grandpas, our audience rose to the occasion.

Over 800 name recommendations came rushing in on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Explore.org channels. After narrowing the pool down to a solid pool of five pairings, we ran a final vote. Over 2,000 comments later, we had two pairs running neck and neck for the lead: Archibald and Earl (“old man names for old man goats”) and Salt and Pepper (a playful take on their unique colorings).

Ultimately, the final vote was too close to call, so we made the decision to do some clever combining. Thusly, the titles “The Earl of Pepper” and “Archibald Salt” were humbly bestowed on these two very fancy gentle goats. We felt that these names complimented the refined personalities and distinguished coloring of these sweet old boys quite well. And how lucky were they, to go from anonymity to having two names picked with love by so many?

That’s not to say that the boys had not known love before; their guardian did the best that she could, but had trouble providing the care that they needed. She had rescued Archibald Salt, The Earl of Pepper, and a third goat when the boys were younger and kept them for years as her companions. As she grew older and began struggling with her own health, however, it became increasingly difficult to keep up with theirs.

Concerned for the goats’ wellbeing, the woman’s neighbor—a Farm Sanctuary Maya’s Legacy Society member—reached out to see if we could help. Our shelter team went to assess the goats’ health, trim their overgrown hooves, and advise their guardian on how to best care for them. She agreed that her goats would need more help in the future, and was open to rehoming them should the need arise. Unfortunately, the boys’ living conditions didn’t improve, and Salt and Pepper’s friend passed away. At that point, their guardian agreed to send them to our New York Shelter.

Though a bit timid at first, the boys are warming up. They are very sweet and enjoy pampering and affection—the perfect way for two old men to enjoy their retirement years in style! We even introduced them to some new friends: Clarabell and Panza, two elderly goat ladies! The girls had once lived with the other goats in our sheep barn but needed a calmer space as they got older. Now they, plus Salt and Pepper, live with our other special needs goats—Bam Bam, Charlie T, Babs, Carmen, and Pinto—and they are all thriving together in their new little herd: just what our once-lonely boys needed.

Archibald Salt and Earl of Pepper spend their days grazing in the pasture, lounging in the shade, and snuggling side by side. They are curious and friendly, and often nibble our fingers in greeting. They will be safe, happy, and together for the rest of their lives, and now serve as ambassadors for farm animals like them. Together, we can help provide care to farm animals across their lifespans and give these individuals the quality of life that they deserve.