New pet doesn’t get their goat

You've got to be kidding.

A Dunedin woman has accepted an orphan goat into her home, slapped a nappy on it and given it a nightly sleeping spot in the marital bed.

Kim Hsiang struggles to say "no" when asked to rescue an animal.

The Otago Polytechnic veterinary nursing student, who owns the Cuddle Farm petting zoo  in Brighton, said  a hunter offered her a skinny 1-week-old goat.

The hunter found the terrified kid  standing next to the body of its dead mother in Central Otago.

When Mrs Hsiang was given the "shivering" goat, she named it Ava, and dressed it in a sweater and a pull-up nappy.

Four-month-old orphan goat Ava snuggles up with Kim Hsiang in Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Stephen...
Four-month-old orphan goat Ava snuggles up with Kim Hsiang in Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

The sweater was removed after the shivering stopped and the nappy will  go after toilet training ends. In the past four months, Ava has formed a strong bond with a family pet, 10-month-old bulldog Matilda.

"They are inseparable," Mrs Hsiang said.

To mimic a motherly bond,  she gives Ava a bottle and invites her to bed with her, husband Tony and  Matilda.

"I lift up the blanket and go ‘Snuggle down’ and she snuggles down and you don’t hear a peep from her until the morning," Mrs Hsiang said.

Ava has afternoon naps in a cot in the lounge and gets taken for campus and beach walks on a lead.

One day, when Ava was "braver" she would be "integrated" with the other animals on the 1.2ha farm.

But she expects Ava will continue to play a big part in the family’s daily lives.

"She is pretty fabulous," Mrs Hsiang said.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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