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Local farm animal sanctuary caring for baby goat with special needs

The Good Shepherd has outfitted Bennett with custom booties
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:33 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Good Shepherd Animal Sanctuary has helped all kinds of farm animals since first opening its doors in Neapolis in 2018.

Right now, the sanctuary is caring for an unusual case. A young goat named Bennett was born with several hooves that were not fully developed.

“Everyone absolutely falls in love with him. He is a cuddle bug,” Christine Cox, executive director of the rescue, said.

Cox rescued 6-week old Bennett and his sister Olivia when they were just two weeks old. Not much slows Olivia down, but Bennett was born with several deformities, including the hooves on his hind legs.

“When you look at the hoof, there is padding and the surrounding hoof wall,” Cox said. “He has no hoof wall or toe, but he has the pads.”

Right now, Bennett is outfitted with special custom-made booties that have memory foam and anti-skid insoles. He is able to get around pretty well with the extra help, but as he grows he will need a different kind of hoof wear.

“As he gets bigger and needs to go outside, he will need prosthetic boots with specific cups on the bottom of his feet,” Cox said.

One of the creative ways to help Bennett get those new boots is through a shoe drive. The Good Shepherd is collecting shoes that will in turn raise money for the rescue.

“Anybody can go through their closet, grab a couple of pairs of shoes and take them to one of our drop boxes. We’ll pick them up and take it from there,” says Tyler Bergman.

Bergman is a volunteer at the Good Shepherd, and his time here has helped change his life.

“It makes me feel really fulfilled,” he said. “I am grateful for the things I have, and I am grateful that I am able to help with the animals. This is an incredible place that changes both human and animal lives.”

Hundreds of animals have gotten a second chance at the sanctuary in just a few short years.

“We rescue abused and forgotten farmed animals. They are either at risk of going into the food chain or they come from situations of abuse, violence, and neglect,” says Cox.

Cox says it’s hard work, both emotionally and physically, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

“We believe with the team of people we have caring for these animals they can have a good quality of life, we just have to put forth the effort,” she said. “There are a lot of difficult and sad days, but the victories outweigh the dark times for sure.”

The shoe drive runs through January 28. There’s also a special baby sprinkle for Bennett and Olivia on Saturday.

In addition to the custom prosthetics, the plan also includes getting a full-body MRI for Bennett at Ohio State in the coming weeks.

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