SAYING GOODBYE TO OUR SWEET, FOUR-FOOTED FARM FRIEND
September 29, 2022 — We said sad goodbyes this morning to a sweet, gentle friend not only loved by SPCA staff members and volunteers, but loved by thousands throughout the community.
Even those folks just passing the SPCA on the I-90 East grew fond of looking for Newman the goat, grazing the pastures of our Educational Farm.
Newman, a 10-year-old Nubian goat, was brought to us by one of our animal cruelty investigation officers after being rescued from a neglectful owner/caretaker in January, 2014. Newman, almost 2 at the time, was tested for and was suffering from a permanent condition most likely acquired at a very young age, Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE); he was receiving no care for the condition. Newman was also emaciated and suffered from pneumonia. After months of loving care and veterinary treatment, Newman rebounded beautifully from the emaciation and pneumonia, and became a permanent resident of the Educational Farm, helping to teach thousands of children and adults about goats and farm animal care while serving as best friend to Xylord, the SPCA’s resident miniature horse.
Newman’s CAE started to progress at an increased rate last year, and SPCA Educational Farm Manager Sheila Foss and her team went to work monitoring Newman, keeping him as comfortable as possible. By late summer, Sheila noticed Newman slowing down significantly; he was having more difficulty getting up and down, walking more slowly, and she noticed he didn’t want to stay out in the pasture as long as he usually did in the past. The SPCA’s Patti Burg, then-assistant farm manager who originally helped in bringing Newman to the SPCA and worked alongside Newman throughout his 9-year residence at the SPCA, also saw changes in him.
Earlier this month, local large animal veterinarian Dr. Jean Feldman, who has treated SPCA farm animals for decades and was Newman’s veterinarian, visited as part of an instructional presentation to veterinary students at the SPCA. When she observed Newman’s continuing decline, Dr. Feldman knew some tough choices had to be made. After discussing the situation with Dr. Feldman, Sheila, Patti, and new Educational Farm Associate Raeleigh May made the heartbreaking choice to say goodbye to Newman this morning.
We know so many of you in the community share our sorrow in bidding farewell to this amazing soul who has brightened so many of our lives just by his presence.
-Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer & Sheila Foss, SPCA Educational Farm Manager