While many pet owners put their furry friends in silly costumes for aesthetic purposes (i.e. it’s really cute), Leanne Lauricella dresses up Polly the adorable baby goat for a slightly different reason.
Last July, Lauricella—the founder of Goats of Anarchy, a New Jersey-based sanctuary for baby goats with special needs—received a call about Polly, a little kid with serious medical issues. While Polly was nearly 2 months old, she weighed only 2 or 3 pounds (at birth, goats typically weigh between 4 and 8 pounds). She was also blind, suffered from anxiety, and, because of various neurological problems, exhibited trouble eating. Understandably, Lauricella fell in love with poor Polly, and decided to bring her back to her refuge.
While Polly quickly grew attached to Lauricella and made herself at home with the other rescued goats (and even pigs!), her struggles with anxiety did not go away. Aware that stressed animals typically calm down when tightly swaddled (like babies), Lauricella experimented with blankets and special shirts. However, nothing seemed to completely solve the issue until she serendipitously stumbled upon a quirky and quack-y costume.
Shortly before Halloween, Lauricella purchased a child-sized duck costume for her goats. Though initially intended as a festive get-up, it was clear that the costume was actually a surprising solution to Polly’s problems. “As soon as I put it on her, she just instantly got calm,” Lauricella told The Dodo. “There’s something about that duck costume that calms her. She goes into a little trance. She just closes her eyes and she’s out.”
While other costumes have had similar soothing effects, none seem to work quite as well as the duck ensemble—though Lauricella has noticed that cuddles from Pocket, another baby goat, are starting to also do the trick. “When Pocket came home, I laid him on [Polly’s] back . . . and it just calmed her right down and she went to sleep,” Lauricella said. “It was almost like that duck costume. I’ve noticed that anytime he’s lying next to her, she just gets calm. I’ve never seen her do that with another goat here.” Somehow, this story has gotten even cuter!
Polly also dresses up as a cute pig, sweet pea pod, pink unicorn, and furry fox.
She also enjoys being snuggly swaddled in blankets.
Cuddling (especially with her little friend Pocket) helps, too!
All images via Goats of Anarchy.