This goat story has a happy ending.
On Monday, August 21 at around 11:40 a.m., two goats were spotted walking along the N line at the outdoor Eighth Avenue train station in Sunset Park.
The pair of animals roaming the tracks resulted in the rerouting of trains as police and animal control were attempting to retrieve them.
According to NYPD Transit, the goats were in custody after they were tranquilized; they were then handed over to specialists at the city’s Animal Care Centers (ACC).
They are slated to be relocated to Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization in Watkins Glen, N.Y., but first the goats are at Cornell University Hospital for Animals in New York City thanks to ACC, the NYPD and comedian and former host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart and his wife Tracey, who is on the Board of Directors for the Farm Sanctuary.
Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston told this paper the current status of the goats and future plans.
“They’re still at Cornell,” she said. “When animals are transported, especially into the city, they tend to get very sick because of the distress that they’re under. They are currently doing radiographs of the lungs to see how severe their pneumonia is, in addition to bloodwork and fecal exams to make sure they don’t need further treatment for anything other ailments.
“Right now, they’re stable,” Coston added. “They’ll be at Cornell for a couple of days and then when that’s up we will bring them to the farm. We’ll probably have them in a quarantine area for close to a month until we can treat everything they have. A lot of issues tend to come up when they arrive.”
She added that tranquilizers can cause issues with the kidneys, which is why bloodwork is being done. “I don’t think that was the problem,” she added. “It’s probably that they were stressed before the incident and then from being transported.”
Fortunately, according to MTA spokesperson Shams Tarak, because the MTA is currently installing elevators at the station, the goats were walking on an unpowered track when they were spotted. “We are doing station improvements in that area and one of the three tracks is not being used,” he said. “That’s why there was no risk of harm to the goats.”
Other tracks were shut while officers tried to catch the animals.
Although there is no definitive answer as to where the goats came from, there are some guesses.
“I’m assuming that they escaped from the live markets there because there’s so much going on right now in the city with that,” Coston said. “A lot of them do escape at a point because they know how scared everybody else is, and they smell blood and all the things at those slaughter facilities and they must be frightened. They’re okay and once we have them for a couple of weeks, they should be more used to us. They’ll join a herd and it will make them feel safer. We have 60 goats in Watkins Glen.”
She also praised the Stewarts. “Jon did a lot of dog and cat rescues and did a few of the farm animal rescues with us,” she said. “We contacted them to see if they wanted to help and they jumped at the chance to do it. They’re big animal lovers.”
Coston also applauded the officers that retrieved the goats, who will be named once they arrive at their new home.
“It’s fantastic that the animal control officer and the police got them off the tracks without them getting hurt. It’s pretty outstanding,” she said. “It’s not easy because they are quick. They should be proud of themselves that they made sure they were okay.”
That’s something unusual for the MTA every single day.