Lucie and Za: Instead of Slaughter, Birth and Sanctuary

Many people think of pygmy goats as a pet breed, but like their larger cousins, they are often slaughtered for meat. Such was the fate designated for Lucie and her daughter Za when the person who raised them decided they had too many goats and needed to “downsize.” The two were slated for a trip to New Holland Auction, in Pennsylvania, but luckily ended up at a horse sanctuary instead.

2015_03-17_FSNY_DSC_5880_CREDIT_Farm_SanctuaryThe goats’ rescuer, Charming Acre Rescue, suspected that both were pregnant. This concerned her, since delivering is often difficult for pygmy goats — especially for very small ones like Za, who weighs in at just 25 pounds – and the horse rescue had no access to a vet who could perform an emergency c-section on-site. When the rescuer reached out to us, we offered to take in Lucie and Za and provide them necessary veterinary supervision.

But first, we had to get the two goats to New York. Since our own transport vehicle was engaged at the time, we in turn reached out to animal rescuer and frequent Farm Sanctuary collaborator Mike Stura. Mike drove to Pennsylvania in a snowstorm to pick up these girls and get them to the hospital in time. It takes a village.


That village of support for Farm Sanctuary’s New York shelter include the dedicated staff at Cornell University Hospital for Animals. They discovered that Za was not pregnant after all, however tests confirmed that Lucie was expecting (and quite far along). She and her daughter remained at the hospital until the birth, in case Lucie had trouble during delivery and required an emergency c-section.

In many cases, if a c-section is required and a vet is not available immediately, both mother and baby can easily perish. Fortunately, after about a week, Lucie delivered twin kids, a son and a daughter, without incident. Lucie, Za, and new arrivals Lola and Henry are all healthy and happy.


Lucie and Za are scared of humans, an indication that they experienced little in the way of kindness before their rescue. That changes now. We’re gently working with these two to get them used to human attention and help them understand that they are safe. They will never be harmed, and they will never be separated from their family. Meanwhile, Lola and Henry, who have known kindness from their first moments, are bound to be a couple of confident, rambunctious sanctuary stars. Please help us welcome them and thank you for supporting Farm Sanctuary!