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Nonprofit, volunteers, NCSU vet school save goat left for dead

Posted February 8, 2021 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2021 7:46 p.m. EST

At the Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary in Durham County, founders Alesja and Alex Daehnrich concentrate on the rescue and rehabilitation of pigs, horses and goats, but a recent request stretched their resources and touched their hearts more than most.

About a week ago, Orange County Animal Services called to ask the Daehnrichs if they had room for a lonely goat. The goat's owner told animal services that the goat's sister had died and the surviving goat needed others around her.

But when Blind Spot volunteer Lorre Wisham went to pick up the goat, she found two goats in the stall.

"It made my heart sink," she said. "It made my stomach turn."

Both goats were alive, but one was barely breathing.

"I kneeled down next to her, and I could barely see the rise and fall of her side as she took very shallow breaths," Wisham said.

Alesja Daehnrich believes the goat had been left for at least five days without food or water.

"She didn't weigh anything. She was like a skeleton with fur on her. She was so light," Wisham said.

Wisham scooped up the near-lifeless goat and put her in the car. She took the other goat too, which was showing signs of malnutrition, and rushed them both to the veterinary school at North Carolina State University. The goat in the most dire condition she dubbed Claire.

At first, doctors advised euthanasia.

"We didn't really expect her to do well," Dr. Derek Foster said. "Certainly when she came in, and we didn't think her prognosis was very good."

But Alesja Daehnrich was ready to fight for her.

Claire the goat

"She's a sentient being. She's a living, breathing being," she said.

Foster and his team were able to quickly see some improvement as they treated Claire the goat.

Just days later, Claire was up and walking, eating and thriving.

"She will go on to live a pretty normal and happy, happy life going forward," Foster said.

Claire's sister, whom vets named Ivy, is already out of the hospital.

Ivy the goat

Once Claire makes a full recovery, both goats will live with a new adopted family.

"My heart just is so full," Wisham said.

Orange County is investigating Claire's treatment as a possible case of animal neglect.

Her veterinary bill, which will reach into the thousands of dollars, will be covered by Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit organization.

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