Incredible Rescues: Newborn Animals and Mothers Saved

January 5, 2012 | By Margo Ann Sullivan | Category: Heroes | 1 comment
Tags: adoption & rescue, charity, heroes

Baby animals gain freedom in inspiring survival story.

Motherhood has bought two goats and their newborns freedom from the slaughterhouse, according to Meredith Turner, spokeswoman for Farm Sanctuary. Stella and her baby goat, Abigail, and Maia and her baby goat, Gordon, are recuperating at Cornell University’s Hospital for Animals. Maia and Gordon are in critical condition, but the hope is, all four will survive and stay together at the Watkins Glen, N.Y. refuge.

The story started in mid-December at an upstate New York livestock auction. A slaughterhouse owner bought Stella, a snowy white Saanen dairy goat, with a herd of goats, to kill them for their meat.

But then Stella delivered her baby, Abigail.

Most of the time, a birth does not result in a decision to free the mother animal from the slaughterhouse. In the past, Susan Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s national shelter director, said animal advocates have witnessed livestock workers simply hurl the newborns on a refuse pile and continue leading the mother to slaughter.

But that’s not what happened this time. This slaughterhouse owner decided to find a home for Stella and her baby, Turner said.

He consulted a relative, Binghamton veterinarian, Melissa Hayes. She had studied veterinary medicine at Cornell University, where Farm Sanctuary regularly sends animals in need of care, Turner said, so Hayes knew the animal protection organization could help.

“I immediately called Farm Sanctuary,” Hayes said. “As a student, I helped treat some of their rescued animals and I was deeply touched by their commitment to protecting these often overlooked animals from cruelty. Whether it was pigs who had fallen off a transport truck or an elderly steer with arthritis, Farm Sanctuary was always there to comfort these animals and prove that their lives matter.”

Coston sent a shelter worker to pick up Stella and Abigail, but, in the meantime, Maia had delivered Gordon, so all four goats went to the Cornell University hospital, Coston said.

The decision cost the slaughterhouse owner financially, but the tenderness he saw between mother goat and kid moved him, Turner said.

Farm Sanctuary is paying for the medical costs, Coston said. She estimates the care will run between $2,000 and $3,000. Abigail and Stella both have pneumonia and a virus, which has caused the baby to run spiking fevers. But Abigail is nursing, and Coston is optimistic they will pull through.

Maia gave birth prematurely. She is still on oxygen. Gordon weighed only five pounds at birth. (Seven pounds is normal, Coston said.) He is being fed intravenously. Gordon hasn’t been able to nurse. He has sores on his mouth due to a pox virus.

“He is getting better,” Coston said, and she hopes they will become a little family someday at Farm Sanctuary.

Goats are very social, she said. A separation between the mother and kid is “heartbreaking to watch,” Coston added.

‘They’re so distraught,” she said, if one goes away for a minute. At Farm Sanctuary, when goats and kids are briefly apart for medical check-ups, they “talk” back and forth, Coston said, during the whole procedure. At the end, the baby goat runs back to the mother and nurses.

“They sleep with their necks wrapped around each other,” she said.

Stella and Maia were transported to upstate New York from North Carolina, Coston said. The fright of the transport might have caused Maia to go into labor prematurely, she said. The dairy farmer who sold Stella probably knew she was due to deliver, she said.

Both were sold in a herd of “spent” goats. The term refers to animals that are no longer producing up to quota, Coston said. Goats are primarily raised for milk and cheese, but their meat is becoming popular, Coston said.

How to Help: Farm Sanctuary donations ( pay for veterinary care for Stella and Abigail and Maia and Gordon.

Pictured: Stella, the mother goat, and her kid, Abigail, are recuperating at Cornell University Hospital for Animals where they are being treated for pneumonia, virus and spiking fevers. Another goat also gave birth at the same slaughterhouse in upstate New York. (Photo Courtesy of Farm Sanctuary)

What do you think of the rescue story of these goats? Tell us below!

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4 years ago

How sweet goats are so cute and so smart this makes me think of when I was at the zoo and the smallest goat in the petting zoo was picking on all the goats that were bigger than him also I think of the only baby animals that I raised from the day they were born it wasn't goats it was hamsters but the babies were unexpected we took home pregnant hamsters from the pet store when we bought them we were told they were all female and that none were pregnant but we got them home and 3 of them had babies and the 4th one turned out to be a male hamster that pet store also seemed to always have sick and unhealthy animals and you couldnt even see in the fish tanks as for the kittens and puppies they allowed them to run loose in the store and they let parrot's fly loose who would bite people and eat their jewelry the first time I went in there when they opened I didn't know they let the animals run loose like that there was no sign on the door or windows that said so and I was wearing jewlery and I walked in and stepped on a very small kittens foot I had no idea a pet store would do that I was lucky the kitten was okay I cuddled that kitten until I left I am glad that the health inspector closed them down and found good homes for all the animals.

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