• An abandoned baby goat's quest for friendship and love

    By: Alex Cnossen

    Updated:
    Millie hasn’t always had friends — but that was before Lisa Buchman unofficially adopted her for five days.
     
    In June, Buchman found the cuddly baby goat abandoned in a field. 
     
    Then only days-old, Mille was shivering and cuddled into an over-sized teddy bear, rejected by the three mother goats that already lived in the field.
     
    Buchman thinks that whoever abandoned Millie might have thought the mother goats would adopt Millie as their own – but that didn't happen. 
     
    "They rejected her," Buchman said. "She was definitely not those mommies' goat."
     
    So Buchman, a Lakewood local, scooped her up and took her home. 
     
    "I had no choice," Buchman said. "I'm an animal lover; when I see something that needs help, I’m there.”

    Buchman says she and her 8-year-old son are familiar with the field because they take care of the mother goats. She says the goats' absentee owner often forgets to feed them, so they pick the slack.
     
    Buchman and her son live next door in a 1,100 square foot townhouse. Once they brought Millie home, they realized this was a problem.

    "I didn’t have a yard, so I had to put a diaper on her," Buchman said.
     
    She knew the situation wasn't ideal, so she posted an ad on Craigslist, hoping to find Millie a better home.
     
    “I wanted to know if anyone had a good place for her with a yard or with other goats, so she’s not alone,” Buchman said.
     
    Puget Sound Goat Rescue responded to the ad within 24 hours. Buchman was happy Millie had found a better home, but says she was sad to see her go.


    “She was the most precious thing,” Buchman said. "She followed me everywhere."

    Millie was found under this tree and cuddled up next to a teddy bear. (Photo courtesy Lisa Buchman).
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Millie had to wear diapers while living at Buchman's house. (Photo courtesy Lisa Buchman).
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    A Fresh Start

    Millie, now a little over 2 months old, is a bit of a rarity for Puget Sound Goat Rescue; they don't rescue many baby female goats, albeit over-sized teddy bear companions.

    The Rescue saves about 80-90 baby goats per year, most of them boys, Sarah Klapstein with the Puget Sound Rescue said.

    Klapstein says local dairies and breeders cull male baby goats. The males are often sold off cheaply and end up in the hands of meat buyers who purchase them for human consumption or auction them off to local slaughterhouses. 

    The organization attempts to intercept the male goats, purchasing the them before the transactions take place and bottle-feeding them until they're ready to be adopted. 

    Klapstein says they only adopt them in pairs. 

    This year, the organization has saved 86 kid goats. Altogether, they've saved 150 goats, including rescues from a local slaughterhouse and urgent private party surrenders. The organization also rescues lambs, llamas, pigs and other animals.

    Millie thinks she's best friends with all of them.

    Last week, she attended a charity event in Ballard, pushing through the crowds and instantly becoming friends with hundreds of snuggle-hungry Seattleites.

    It was her for first time appearing in public, but she didn't care. Everyone was her best friend. 

    "She is the little boss of the bigger boys, very curious, always playing ... she's our star," Shirene Peterson with Puget Sound Rescue said.

    No abandonment issues here – just an eager goat lookin' for love.

    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Grady and Ramsey

    When she arrived at the goat rescue, Millie and her teddy bear were attached at the hip, Klapstein said.

    She arrived at the rescue on June 17 and immediately hit it off with two male goats around her same age named Grady and Ramsey.  

    "Baby goats bond easily and she was living without goat companionship for about five days before she arrived ... she quickly bonded to the boys," Klapstein said. "They are about the same age and size and they were all young which made it easy."

    After breakfast, the trio heads out to pasture. "They mostly just hang out, nap and eat," Klapstein says. (Photo courtesy Puget Sound Goat Rescue).
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Millie and Grady (left) became friends almost instantly. The Rescue says they are trying integrate them into their bigger herd of babies. (Photo courtesy Puget Sound Goat Rescue).
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Now, instead of cuddling with her bear, Kalpstein says Millie likes to curl up with her adopted brothers.

    "But we still put [the bear] out for her from time-to-time, and she likes to nibble on it," Klapstein said.

    She also likes to boss the boys around. 

    "Millie is a little queen bee, sassy and full of personality," Klapstein said. "The boys take all their cues from her."

    Klapstien said the organization is trying to slowly integrate Millie, Grady and Ramsey into the Rescue's bigger herd of babies, though the trio remain very close.

    The Rescue's next event with goats is slated for November. Klapstien says they hope that Millie, Grady and Ramsey will adopted out by then. 

    They plan to gift Millie's bear to her new family when she is adopted.

    " ... As a token of her journey," Klapstein said.

    Puget Sound Goat Rescue plans to gift Millie's bear to her new family when she is adopted. (Photo courtesy Puget Sound Goat Rescue).
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Buchman had to bottle-feed Millie goat milk after rescuing her from the field. (Photo courtesy Lisa Buchman).
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    All baby goats at Puget Sound Goat Rescue are available for adoption, but require a home with room to run and play.

    The organization has an adoption application on its website. Currently, there is a waiting list for people hoping to volunteer.

    Click here to learn more about private goat ownership in King County. Check the Puget Sound Goat Rescue website for more information about housing and adoption.

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