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This Billy Goat Isn't Gruff

Despite severe neglect, rescued goat remains upbeat

The Humane Society of the United States


    Despite severe neglect, Stevie is a one-of-a-kind with his good nature and can-do outlook. All photos by Andrea J. Wright/The Wright Pictures


    Stevie may never be able to walk normally, but he's able to stand and walk on his hooves rather than his knees.


    Stevie follows the food.

  • A wide-eyed Stevie checks out the camera.

by Pepper Ballard

Stevie, the goat, had issues, big ones: His hooves were so painfully overgrown due to neglect by the people who kept him on a Sutherlin, Ore., farm that he could only walk and stand on his knees. Because he was in this condition for so long, his knees were permanently bent by the time help arrived for him.

But rescue did come for Stevie, and for 28 other animals allegedly neglected on the same farm, when the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and officials with The Humane Society of the United States raided the property. Since then, Stevie has had surgery to straighten his front legs, and although he probably will never walk normally again, he is able to spend more time on his feet, and less on his knees.

Stevie is truly one of the most determined, good-natured, loveable creatures I think I’ve ever met. --Scott Beckstead

“Stevie left an impression on everyone involved in this case with his positive, can-do attitude and friendly nature,” said Scott Beckstead, The HSUS’ Oregon senior state director.  “It was tragic that he was so badly neglected that he could no longer walk. 

“Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Dr. Kang and Parkway Animal Hospital, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Saving Grace, the Duchess Sanctuary, and Sanctuary One, this remarkable animal has a great shot at a happy and peaceful life.”

Rest and Recup

The procedure—funded by The HSUS—involved modifying the front tendons in Stevie’s knees to make them more elastic, enabling him to stretch his legs, and hopefully someday walk normally on all fours.

When he was rescued, the billy goat was taken to temporarily live at the Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center in Roseburg. After his surgery, he recuperated at the Duchess Sanctuary, the 1,120-acre horse sanctuary owned and operated by The HSUS in partnership with The Fund for Animals. 

Stevie now lives at Sanctuary One, a 55-acre farm animal sanctuary in the Applegate Valley of Jackson County. It's currently home to a number of goats, horses, and other animals.

“Stevie is truly one of the most determined, good-natured, loveable creatures I think I’ve ever met,” Beckstead said. 

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