Goats of Anarchy

Goats of Anarchy

Merlin and Gigi & Goats of Anarchy

Write up by: Kelli Bender / People

Adorable things are happening in the fields of Goats of Anarchy (GOA).

GOA is a 30-acre farm animal sanctuary in Hampton, New Jersey, that is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of goats with special needs, and is home to over 130 animals, including goats, horses, donkeys, cows, alpacas, sheep, pigs, turkeys, geese, ducks, and chickens.

Leanne Lauricella, the founder and president of GOA, has seen many things since starting the non-profit in 2014, but something special has recently taken her by surprise.

Gigi a 7-month-old lamb with an “old soul” has been living with GOA’s blind goat herd and “acts as a mom to some of them.”

“She plays gently with the babies and cuddles the ones who need it,” Lauricella told PEOPLE.

Recently, Gigi, who arrived at GOA hours after her birth, has found that someone else at the sanctuary needs cuddles: Merlin the disabled duck.

“He has an injured leg and is not able to walk. We did try a prosthesis, a wheelchair, and splinting, but none of these options worked for him,” the founder said of Merlin, a two-year resident at GOA. “Merlin can’t walk, but loves hanging out in his pool. You can find him either splashing around, hanging out in his special chair, or sunbathing in the grass with friends.”

It was one day while Merlin was sunbathing on the grass that Gigi decided to make her first move.

“A couple of weeks ago, we spotted Gigi laying next to Merlin in the grass and we thought it was so cute. We weren’t too surprised because Gigi is such a cuddler but thought it was just a one-time occurrence, ” Lauricella said. “But the next day, she did it again.”

Gigi stopped by Merlin’s sunbathing spot for cuddles again and again and again, until it became clear that some quality snuggle time with Merlin was now part of her daily schedule.

“Every day, Gigi visits Merlin out in the grass and curls up next to him,” Lauricella added. “It’s like she is trying to comfort him. At first, he seemed a little annoyed but now he grooms her and snuggles with her. They have developed a friendship and it’s unlike anything we’ve seen on the farm.”

Interspecies friendships on the farm are rare since the animals at GOA are often separated by species for their care, which makes the fact that Gigi sought out Merlin even more heart-warmingly unique.

“This relationship is very special,” GOA’s president said.

The ability to witness ridiculously precious moments like this is one of the many reasons Lauricella, who also advocates for animal rights and promotes veganism through GOA, started the sanctuary.

“At GOA, we rescue animals that have been neglected, abused, or discarded. Around 25 of our goats wear prosthetic devices, and we have a barn full of goats who use wheelchairs. We have a herd of blind goats, several blind horses, and even a cow and a sheep who wear prosthetic devices,” she said. “Five of the most challenged goats even live in my house with me. Our mission is to help these animals, but in doing so, we help ourselves and our followers and supporters. Watching these animals fight for their lives and seeing what they overcome is so inspiring.”

Lauricella hopes that GOA’s many supporters will have a chance to see Gigi and Merlin’s blossoming friendships in-person someday soon, but, to slow the spread of COVID-19, GOA is currently closed to the public, aside from regularly scheduled weekly staff and volunteers.

“We hope that this will change in the next few months because we love having visitors. We feel it’s so important for people to experience farm animals in person because our guests are usually amazed at how social the animals are,” Lauricella said.

Learn more about ‘Goats of Anarchy’ (watch this!)

“Because so many people are struggling financially, we are definitely feeling the effects of that. Donations are slowing and like many nonprofits, we rely solely on donations,” Lauricella said. “We promised our animal residents that we would give them the best possible care, and we will do everything we can to fulfil that promise, even during a pandemic. We have been working hard to find creative ways to fundraise using various social media platforms and even virtual tours.”


To help support GOA during the pandemic, and to stay up to date on Gigi and Merlin’s friendship, follow the sanctuary on Instagram and Facebook

Be Peace . Give Peace . Show Peace

The OG ‘Rosie the Riveter’

The OG ‘Rosie the Riveter’

Former ‘Rosie the Riveter’ makes masks to protect against the Coronavirus.

An original ‘Rosie the Riveter’ who helped save the country building warplanes during World War II is now making masks to fight the deadly coronavirus.  Mae Krier, 94, was employed by Boeing in the 1940’s to assemble B-17 and B-29 bombers alongside other women.  These women who would tie their hair back in a bandanna were depicted in the famous WWII-era poster of Rosie the Riveter flexing her arm and the slogan “We can do it!”  

Krier has made over 200 masks using that same red polka-dot design worn by Rosie – and the orders keep coming.  “If just one of these little face masks can save one life,”  Krier said, “I’ve done my job!”

Taking care of his neighbors …

Taking care of his neighbors …

Alaska Man Makes 14-Hour Boat Ride to Help Feed Town

When the citizens of the remote Alaskan town of Gustavus, accessible only by ferry or sea plane, suddenly found themselves without their main lifeline – the State run ferry that had shut down due to COVID-19 concerns,  Toshua Parker, owner of Icy Strait Wholesale, the town’s only grocery store, stepped up to transport supplies.  He makes a 14-hour trip weekly to Juneau which is about 50 miles away to pick up supplies and groceries for his town. The journey ends up being closer to 24 hours most of the time as he is forced to adjust to tides and the only docking area on a river.  Toshua doesn’t hike up prices in his store to cover this extra effort, despite the personal cost to him, saying that it is important to give back to his neighbors right now. 

A 9 Year Old’s Generous Heart

A 9 Year Old’s Generous Heart

A 9-year-old and her friends have raised nearly $100,000 selling bracelets to help black-owned businesses.

By:  Alaa Elassar / CNN

A group of friends with big dreams and even bigger hearts started a summer business that is helping black-owned businesses and neighborhoods in Minneapolis affected by the coronavirus pandemic and protests following the death of George Floyd.

Fueled by boredom and an itch for something new, 9-year-old Kamryn Johnson and five of her friends who live in neighboring Chanhassen decided to open a stand selling friendship bracelets.

After a lot thinking about where the money would end up going, the group agreed that the proceeds would be donated to businesses and food banks in Minneapolis.

Led by Kamryn, the group named their effort “Kamryn & Friends: Bracelets For Unity & Justice.” Since setting up the stand on May 30, the kind kiddos have raised more than $90,000 through sales of the bracelets online fundraising and donations, according to Kamryn’s dad, former NFL player Ron Johnson.

“She has a huge heart and simply wanted to be of help in whatever way she could,” Johnson told CNN. “She and her friends are finding ways to feed the families of Minneapolis and give back to their community in the way they know how.”

While the funds will be going toward helping various businesses damaged during protests, Johnson said the focus is on helping black business owners get back on their feet.

They had already been harmed by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced Minnesota into a statewide shutdown for a month. Then the May 25 death of black resident George Floyd triggered nights of protests and violence in cities across the country.

Scores of businesses in the Twin Cities — Minneapolis and St. Paul — were damaged or looted during days of unrest.

‘When you look at Minneapolis, there is a huge racial gap in basically every aspect of life,” Johnson said. “It’s not equal. We want to be there for black businesses, especially those that don’t have insurance agents to help them out, to let them know they have people that will protect and fight for them.”

Captain Tobias

Captain Tobias

Tobias Weller, nine, completes a marathon to raise money for charity.


A boy with autism and cerebral palsy who was inspired by Captain Tom Moore to walk a marathon to raise money for a local hospital and school, has said it felt “magnificent” to have completed his challenge.

Tobias Weller, nine, uses a walking frame and was only managing about 50m a day before lockdown began.

Well-wishers outside his home in Sheffield cheered him on as he completed his challenge of walking 26.2 miles (42km) over 70 days up and down the street,

His mum, Ruth Garbutt said she was “bursting with pride”.


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