Always at the ready for hug and kisses, he’s one of the sweetest kids we’ve ever known, seeking us out for a cuddle (or a warm bottle) every chance he gets. To think that little Jack was once abandoned and left to die in a stockyard stall is nearly unimaginable.
Born as a twin during an early January sale at New Holland Sales Stable in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, tiny Jack had an extremely rough start to life. His mother was auctioned off before he had a chance to nurse, and he and his sibling were left behind in the bitter cold, filthy stockyard stall without access to warmth and the vital colostrum (protective antibodies in a mother’s milk) they needed to survive.
What’s worse, being so fragile, the twins were deemed worthless from the moment they were born. After all, in the callous world of the stockyard, orphaned newborns (as well as sick, injured and “spent” animals) who aren’t claimed by anyone after failing to sell are often killed, forgotten about or discarded on dead piles. Such would have been Jack’s fate as, after a farmer offered to take both kids for free but ended up taking only one, he was left alone to die.
Hours after Jack was abandoned, however, a Farm Sanctuary humane officer arrived on the scene and discovered the tiny kid in the nick of time, as the 3-pound newborn was already suffering from hypothermia and a navel infection, likely caused by the filthy conditions he was birthed in and exacerbated by his lack of colostrum. Recognizing that Jack was dying, the officer confiscated him immediately, took him to a local vet and later saw him off to our New York Shelter for continued intensive and rehabilitative care.
Though Jack was a victim of neglect deserving of protection under the law, the farmer who said he’d take the goat could not be identified and therefore could not be charged. But while this is the case, it is inexcusable that the tiny goat was left to die and no one noticed – especially given New Holland Sales Stables ’ poor track record with abuse. This incident is not isolated, but rather symptomatic of bigger problems at this facility, which among other infractions, was found guilty on three counts of animal cruelty in 2007 after the same officer filed charges for the inhumane handling of downed sheep on the premises.