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In Loving Memory of Maggie

On Thursday, April 27, 2023, we said goodbye to Maggie. One of the most charismatic and inspirational animals that has ever lived at West Place, Maggie wasn't just a goat, she was an icon who will never be forgotten.

As we celebrate the life of this amazing soul, we send our heartfelt gratitude to the volunteers who showed her so much love and affection, especially during these last few months; all of our supporters whose donations provided Maggie with the specialized medical care she needed to live life to the fullest, all the way to the end; and her sponsors who helped us give Maggie seven incredible years at the sanctuary.

Maggie defied the odds from the moment we met her. She and her sister, Sadie, were among the 67 animals that West Place rescued from the Westport, MA, animal cruelty case of 2016 – the largest case of animal abuse in the history of the Northeast. Our executive director, Wendy, was one of the first people the ASPCA called to the gruesome scene that included more than 1,400 animals. But when she was gently approached by Maggie, despite the pain and suffering she had endured, Wendy knew there was something special about this goat.

Maggie and Sadie had significant health issues when they came to West Place. Wendy and the team nursed them back to health and gave them a second life at the sanctuary. Maggie's resiliency was astounding and not only did she learn to trust humans again, but she became one of the most outgoing and social animals we've ever had the pleasure of knowing. She was among the first to greet visitors and make new friends. She was sweet with just a touch of sass, and it was impossible to look at her without smiling or laughing. She made an impression on thousands of people, and helped educate the next generation of animal lovers.

We don't know how old Maggie was, but for the last seven years she lived a lifestyle other goats can only dream of. She patrolled the eight-acre sanctuary, building many friendships along the way. Maggie was equally happy grazing with the alpacas and horses, or playfully headbutting the sheep. She would show off for tour groups, patiently standing on her hind legs until a treat or a chin scratch was offered.

It was difficult to see her body begin to break down this past winter, especially because her mind remained sharp. We did all we could for her at the sanctuary before admitting her to Tufts Large Animal Hospital during the first week of February. After three days, Maggie returned home but the prognosis was not good. She came back with her own personal pharmacy and instructions for a week of hospice care. But in true Maggie fashion, she powered through and exceeded expectations. With a little help from her friends, Maggie remained active and social for the next three months.

As her muscles weakened and her degenerative and neurologic issues progressed, Maggie found her second wind with the help of a special goat wheelchair. Each morning, she would wake up and be placed into her chair so she could enjoy the day. She never made a fuss about her daily steroid injections and she cruised around the sanctuary with a human caretaker to make sure she didn't get too ambitious. Although her body was old, she remained young at heart.

We never wanted Maggie to suffer and during the last few days she began to tell us that it was time. Miss Maggie is now on the big farm in the sky, running and playing with animals who came before her. Rest easy, sweet girl. You were absolutely the best and we are grateful to have had you in our lives.

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