April 28, 2015
In early April, the New Jersey SPCA and local police found numerous dead animals in various states of decomposition on a property in Independence Township, Warren County. Along with the dead animals that were discovered, a large number of live animals in need of food, water and veterinary care were found on the property as well.
"We do a lot of work with the New Jersey SPCA, so we get called out quite often to cases, but usually we’re there after everything is said and done, just to pick up the animals," said Tamala Lester, founding director and general manager of The Barnyard Sanctuary.
"This time was a little bit different because we got called in right away. Normally when you deal with farm animals they’re outside, but in this case, there were a few in the house. And there were dead ones and there were live ones. The live ones were really sick. Very tiny babies still had their umbilical cords on them. They were dehydrated, very weak, couldn’t walk."
Lester said the 150 rescued animals are recovering well, including a calf who has now doubled in size.
A calf rescued by The Barnyard Sanctuary. (PHOTO COURTESY/THE BARNYARD SANCTUARY)
Three of the sick baby pigs rescued by The Barnyard Sanctuary. (PHOTO COURTESY/THE BARNYARD SANCTUARY)
Ansel and Petal, two baby goats who were among the animals rescued, have found a new home and family with Leanne Lauricella, a volunteer for The Barnyard Sanctuary. Lauricella initially took the two baby goats to foster them but quickly became attached. She took Ansel to the vet all through his recovery.
"I actually live less than 5 miles from where this happened, so I drove by there, and you would never even think by looking at it that this was going on," she said. "The first few weeks were really tough. I was taking him back and forth to the vet. They were doing so many treatments. We just did not think he was going to make it."
Lauricella actually caught E. coli from Ansel during his recovery.
"Now they’re both 100 percent, just happy and healthy and jumping and doing baby goat things," she said. "There is nothing better or more entertaining than a baby goat."
The pair have gained so many fans that they now have their own Instagram account. They currently have more than 7,800 followers.
Ansel and Petal are happy to be together in their new home. (ANSELANDPETAL/INSTAGRAM)
Lauricella is overwhelmed by the support she has on social media.
"From a horrible situation, a lot of good has come. Eight-thousand people came together on Instagram to support these two little baby goats that were basically bought at an auction and discarded like garbage and left to die. When we weren’t sure if Ansel was going to make it, every day I would wake up to messages. Everyone was so emotionally invested in these two. It’s just brought so many people together."
Lauricella owns five other goats and is in the process of adopting another. They are all featured on her Goats of Anarchy Instagram account. She also adopted a mini donkey and mini horse from the sanctuary.
Those interested in supporting the animals of The Barnyard Sanctuary are encouraged to donate or sponsor an animal as a Barnyard Guardian.