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Escaped goat roaming along I-80 in Warren County safely rescued

ALLAMUCHY TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – A goat that escaped from the Hackettstown Livestock Cooperative Auction and has been roaming along Interstate 80 in Allamuchy Township was safely captured by the owner of Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery on Wednesday.

The goat, who is under a year old, was living in the woods above dangerous Interstate 80 and would climb up and down the treacherously steep, rock cliffs and graze behind the guardrail as trucks and cars blew by her, within a couple feet. It was heart stopping to see her in such a dangerous area, Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery owner Nicole Asher said.

Asher said she hiked up the mountain to see if there was a safe way to get closer to lure her. It was such a treacherous hike and would be near impossible to get a trap in that way. She would bolt as soon as anyone would approach and we couldn’t risk scaring her further into harms way. This rescue had to be handled very carefully.

Asher’s friend Melissa Matta Giordano even tried hiking in her little goat “Tiny” to use him as a magnet to attract her, but she was nowhere to be seen that day.

“The only way to get a trap to the area was to pull over on route 80 which was extremely scary and dangerous. Thankfully, I was in contact with the NJ State Police Hope barracks who were there and ready to assist whenever I needed them. They would follow me to the area and park behind me with their lights on to make sure I was safe getting in and out of my truck while I set up traps and enclosures. They were truly my guardian angels,” Asher said.

“Several nights were spent sleeping at the nearby truck stop while traps were set but she just wouldn’t go in. Panic was setting in as the weather report was just getting worse and worse. Two feet of snow was on the way and the thought of her being out in that was just unimaginable and heartbreaking,” Asher said.

On Wednesday, she finally started to show interest in the enclosure and Asher only a few hours left before she had to break down the enclosure and go home for her own safety.

“It was getting dark and the snow began to fall and my heart was in my throat. Please go in!!!!! Dan was on his way to help me break it down. Within moments to spare she finally went in and the door slammed shut behind her. It was like she knew or some kind of divine intervention took over. I called Dan through tears of joy “I got her, she’s in, she’s in!!!” I raced over and she was so scared and ramming the cage when she saw me. I went in and got a slip lead over her and calmed her down. My amazing friend Melissa trekked out in the snow to come meet us and help get her out of the enclosure,” Asher said.

“I was beyond relieved; the snow had just started falling hard and the thought of her being out there through the storm was unbearable. It was tears of relief, joy and exhaustion,” Asher told RNJ.

(Photo: Courtesy Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery)

Asher named her Blizzard because she was caught during Wednesday’s nor’easter. She was taken to Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday where she was vetted and cared for, Asher said.

“We were told that she was out there for months, we aren’t sure where she came from but we know that a life filled with love is ahead of her,” Asher said.

Shortly after Asher posted Blizzard’s rescue on Facebook, she was contacted by Leanne from Goats of Anarchy who filled her in on Blizzard’s amazing journey.

It was in October when three goats had escaped off a trailer at the Hackettstown Livestock Cooperative Auction and two of the goats, Blizzard’s mother Ruthie who is 4 or 5-years-old and her brother Lewis who is under a year old, were caught by a local animal control officer and were brought to Goats of Anarchy, but the third goat, Blizzard, evaded capture.

Blizzard travelled about eight miles to where fate would intervene and our paths would meet. These weren’t just any three goats, they were a family who were destined to remain together, Asher said.

“I am now calling them The Three Wise Goats because this is truly a Christmas miracle. Blizzard will be going home to be reunited with her family,” Asher said

Blizzard is now at the Goats of Anarchy sanctuary.

“She is obviously in very bad shape and will need medical care. They are all boer crosses which makes me even more sure that they must be related! Our vet will see her immediately and she will have a quarantine stall next to her family so she can be reunited,” a post said on the Goats of Anarchy Facebook page.

(Photo: Courtesy Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery)

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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