February 16, 2017
There are times in life when what is needed is a fresh start, a bold search for self-rediscovery and a brave new world that you hope still involves getting paid for the stuff you do—anything to escape the proverbial jar.
For Leanne Lauricella, once a corporate events planner in New York City, a move to New Jersey resulted in such an unbearable commute that she decided she must commit herself to something else: Goats of Anarchy.
That's the name of her rescue operation for disabled and special needs goats.
The Clinton Township resident recently shared her incredible story with USA Today, explaining that she now has 40 goats of all different breeds who communicate with one another using "the universal goat body language": head butting, nibbling, jumping for joy and the like.
Lauricella and her husband built a barn in their backyard to contain their growing stable of goats — they already keep five vulnerable little ones inside their home — but within six months they ran out of real estate.
To maintain the growth of Goats of Anarchy, the couple started a GoFundMe campaign that enabled them to rent another facility in Milford for two years. That crowdfunding page, still open, has raised nearly $45,000 in six months.
Most of Lauricella's baby goats arrive from around the country with severe birth defects, frost-bite or other health complications.
"Some people have special-needs goats that are a few years old and want us to take them," she told USA Today. "But if they're a few years old, they made it that far because they've had good care. We take the ones that will die if we don't take them."
The idea for Goats of Anarchy came from Lauricella's success on Instagram, which one day featured a picture of hers that skyrocketed the number of followers she has to nearly 400,000. Many of them help her cover some of the costs of running the sanctuary, and Lauricella will soon publish a book of photography.
The moral of the story is you can always find peace (and America's coffee tables) in kindness and cute animals.