When opportunity knocks, most people are compelled to answer … but when it comes in an unexpected form, it can cause quite a stir. Imagine the surprise Sacramento resident Tabitha Peralez felt when she heard a loud rap on her front door, and opened it to find a small, black and white goat standing right in front of her! With a chewed off rope around his neck and fear in his eyes, the goat appeared to be on the lam from nowhere good and was hungry, thirsty and very exhausted. Lucky for the little guy, Tabitha seized the opportunity to help and took a series of actions that ultimately saved the animal’s life.
Turning her attention first to the goat’s immediate needs, Tabitha quickly ushered her unexpected visitor into her garage and then released him into the backyard, where he ran around and explored for a while before settling down for some food, water and much-needed rest. Over the next few days, she continued to hand-feed him fresh veggies and grain, and allowed him to exercise outside in the yard – even letting him jump on the patio furniture and nibble on tree branches! But as much as Tabitha enjoyed her new friend’s company, she knew that she couldn’t lawfully keep him in the suburbs.
Initially reluctant to call on local authorities due to concerns that the goat, as a kind of farm animal often raised for human food, might not end up in compassionate hands, Tabitha eventually contacted the Sacramento City Animal Control to come pick him up and then reached out to Farm Sanctuary to help ensure that he found a loving home from there. Luckily, we had some room in our hospital for the tiny goat and set out to retrieve him up at the city shelter and bring him to our sanctuary in Orland.
At our California Shelter, we named the goat Justin, in honor of singer/songwriter Justin Young who recently joined us to serenade guests at our Celebration For the Turkeys, and immediately set about assessing his medical needs. Despite having a hearty appetite and a high energy level, Justin goat did have a cough, so we had our veterinarian examine him and found that he had some fluid in his lungs, which we are now treating with antibiotics. Thankfully, we expect that he’ll soon recover with some TLC.
A little shy and reserved upon arrival, Justin warms up to us a little more each day and revels in his newfound freedom to roam around outdoors and munch on leaves and grass. He also loves the yummy hay that he receives so much that he not only loves to eat it, but he also likes to nap in it as well, and can often be found curled up in his large feed bowl. For now, Justin will stay in our hospital, but once his treatments are over, we hope to introduce him to all his new friends in our main goat herd.
We are truly grateful to Tabitha for being there for Justin in his time of need and seeing him safely to his new home. You too can help us continue to be at the ready to respond to calls for help when they come in, and bring relief to animals like Justin, by donating to our Emergency Rescue Fund today. Your gift of support will not only give hope to suffering farm animals everywhere, but it will also help save lives.