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Nellie the Goat

Nellie was captured as a baby when a hunter shot her mother. Staked outside without a collar, the metal chain had worn into her neck. She had eaten everything within her small circle and was starving, and had no water in the hot summer sun. Her tiny bones stuck out, and she was suffering from worms and hoof-rot. The owner agreed to turn the small goat over to us. Nellie was absolutely petrified, so I sat with her in a stable for several days without moving, without showing her my hands. I gradually moved food closer and closer to me, and kept speaking softly. I promised her she’d never be chained again.

When I was finally able to release her into a paddock, Nellie looked confused and didn’t move at first. She’d forgotten what freedom was. Then suddenly she starting racing around in huge circles, leaping and kicking with joy. Just as I was wondering if I’d ever get near her again she came back, braced her bottom against my leg, and started grazing. As with all our goats, Nellie was never tethered or chained again.

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The Animal Sanctuary is an animal refuge run by Shawn Bishop and Michael Dixon in Matakana, New Zealand. We provide a safe haven for abused and neglected animals, and care for injured or orphaned native birds. A charitable trust has been established for this purpose.

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