Rescued from the auction block, adorable little Emmett and his brother Jasper were unwanted by-products of the dairy goat industry, where the females are kept pregnant to keep milk production high. Just like veal calves in the dairy industry, male goats are of no value to a goat operation as they don’t produce milk. These brothers were pulled from their mother, likely to be sold off as cheap “kid meat.” Luckily for these boys and for us, the farmer had a change of heart and offered them to a woman he knew who is fond of goats — and that woman then called us.
At just a few days old, these brothers were subjected to the industry standard practice of dehorning. A tool like this one (available in any farm supply catalog) was heated to 1000 degrees and their horn buds were cauterized to oblivion without any anesthesia.
In a sad turn of events, both of these brothers returned a diagnosis of Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis, a viral infection in goats that causes severe and often crippling joint pain. Jasper was in so much constant pain that the veterinarian looking after his treatment told us what we didn’t want to hear…that it was time to let him go in peace. We all grieved with Emmet for the loss of dear Jasper.
Nowadays, Emmet and the lovely Star romp around the Sanctuary grounds to greet visitors and volunteers, and sneak fresh fruits and vegetables off the wheelbarrows. Emmet will actually pull jackets, glasses and water bottles off from the Visitor Center welcome bench to make room for himself to hop up – a better angle at which to be loved and admired by all!