Sorry, Turkeys, the Goat Is Spared

These two baby goats, held by Kelley Foster and Melissa Maier of Rita’s Stables, were born unexpectedly on Sept. 27, saving the life of their mother, who was headed to the slaughterhouse the following day. All three live at Rita’s now. Janis Hewitt

    The day before a female goat was scheduled to be slaughtered for her meat, she dropped a big surprise — two babies born on Sept. 27, an unusual time for a goat to give birth, since they often deliver in the spring, rarely in the fall.
    Jeremy Vannoy of Delaware, who raises and sells livestock for their meat, had no idea she was pregnant. So, of course, he canceled the slaughtering.
    “He’s a livestock agent with a heart,” Kelley Foster said.
    Lucky for the goat, now named Sandy because of the storm, and her two kids, Brownie and Cookie, Mr. Vannoy had been in Montauk several weeks prior with Anglin Aircraft Recovery Service, the company he works for, which salvages parts from downed planes, the latest in East Hampton.
    One night he drove out to Montauk and met Ms. Foster at the Coast, a newer restaurant in the hamlet. They got to talking, and he told her what he does. “It’s the total opposite of what we do,” said Ms. Foster, who is the daughter of Rita Foster of Rita’s Stables on West Lake Drive.
    Visiting Rita’s Stables is like viewing a scene from a movie — all the animals just walk around, picking at the ground, and are rarely penned, except for at night when they’re all tucked in to the massive barn. When you get out of your car, goats, lambs, horses, chickens, and a peacock run up to greet you, and you almost expect them to start talking.
    When he returned to Delaware, Mr. Vannoy and Ms. Foster continued a relationship, albeit a long-distance one, via phone and texts. He sent Ms. Foster a picture of the babies and wondered what he would do with them.
    “Now his whole mind-set is changed. Now he has two babies,” said Ms. Foster, who asked her mom if they could take them, and she said, “Of course.”
    But Hurricane Sandy was raging, and Mr. Vannoy was told about the gas shortage up this way. Nonetheless, he filled gas cans to fuel his truck along the way and put the goats and their mother in carriers for the long ride to Montauk. He arrived several days after the hurricane hit.
    The babies are now safely ensconced in a pen with their mama on the grounds of Rita’s and happily prance around their pen, entertaining onlookers with their antics. Brownie has a mostly brown body, and Cookie is mostly white. Sandy watches over them protectively, having no idea that if it weren’t for them, she would have probably already been served for dinner.