Late one night in November, we received a phone call from a New York City police officer. He asked if our farm sanctuary would adopt a small goat being held in his precinct in the Bronx.
The officer and his colleagues had been sitting around the precinct that night, mourning the fatal shooting of a fellow officer, when a resident brought the goat in from the streets. The officer said he loved animals and urged us to adopt this little goat, and we agreed to do so. He and a partner drove the goat to us early in the morning.
When the goat arrived, we saw that it was a young Dwarf Nigerian male. He was thin and frightened, and his head and horns were covered with wax, suggesting to the officers that he had escaped a ritual slaughter. Our vet immediately came over and told us the goat was anemic and had pneumonia.
Despite his fears and ailments, the little goat showed signs of life and curiosity, and everyone who works on our farm quickly fell in love with him. We named the little fellow Cesar in honor of a cheerful construction worker who has made numerous repairs on our farm.
With medical care and affection, Cesar has recovered from his illnesses, and he is one of our most energetic animals. He is constantly exploring, climbing, and trying to engage the larger goats in playful head-butting.
Life can be gloomy in winter, but Cesar is so fun to watch that he cheers everyone up.
Bill Crain is co-founder of Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag. Visit the sanctuary’s website: www.safehavenfarmsanctuary.org