500 days at the RSPCA
There is thought to be a syndrome in companion animal adoption known as "Black Dog" or "Black Cat Syndrome" where pure black animals are more likely passed over for those with lighter coats. And although there are some superstitions about black cats, and there are some theories as to why this syndrome exists, the reason for the syndrome seems largely unknown.
Was "Black Goat Syndrome" the reason that handsome goat Gabriel was at the RSPCA shelter for five hundred days before we were made aware of his predicament? Goats have a life expectancy similar to a dog, so by that time he had been imprisoned already for a huge chunk of his life.
We of course knew that dark coated animals are no different to other animals, and looked deeply into his liquid amber eyes and saw an animal that was afraid and sad, and so we took him to sanctuary.
We cannot be sure how Gabriel ended up at the RSPCA, however is it likely he had been bred into the goat farming industry. Although farmed in fewer numbers than sheep or cows in Australia, there has been an increase in goat farming within Australia in recent years. Goats such as Gabriel are bred and killed for their meat, fleece and hide. It is also possible that Gabriel was the kid of a mother goat removed after birth from his mum so that she could be farmed for her milk. With over 1.6 million goats slaughtered in Australia each year, although Gabriel had an unfortunate start to his life, he is now one very fortunate goat.
When Gabriel first arrived at sanctuary he was very nervous and wary of us for a few days. We understood that he would feel confused and afraid, and that he may even remember pain at the hands of some humans he had encountered. Because of this, we gave him all the time he needed to get used to his new home, feel safe in the sanctuary routine, and make friends with the other resident goats. We understood why he seemed afraid of us, and even after some time, our sanctuary staff could not get close to him. But we gave him his space, and hoped that in time he might become less afraid and learn to trust us.
As he had spent so long at the RSPCA, we also had some concerns about his ability to fit in with our goat herd, but we were delighted to witness Gabriel so happy to meet the other goats in the Farm Animal Rescue herd. He loves his goat companions!
Gabriel loves foraging and spends his days close to the herd discovering the sanctuary forest. He has plenty of room to climb, play and run around at Farm Animal Rescue's open range sanctuary, and we are honoured to be able to provide him a home for life.
Gabriel is looking for a sponsor, someone who can appreciate his dark and handsome beauty, perhaps more from afar, who can understand his social anxiety, especially around people, and his hesitation to engage in physical touch. He seeks a special person who can help us with a monthly donation so we can provide him with the best of food, all the medication he needs, space to be free, and a soft place for sleep for the rest of his life.
Will you be Gabriel's special person?