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Buttercups Goat Sanctuary in Boughton Monchelsea, Maidstone, needs foster homes for its four-legged rescues

By Angela Cole

They like being tickled behind the ears and have playful natures akin to pet dogs.

But so many goats are now being abandoned or being given up as their owners feel the financial pinch, that an animal centre in Boughton Monchelsea is having to appealing for foster homes.

There are some 140 of the creatures at the Buttercups Goat Sanctuary site in Wierton Road, with a further 120 looked after elsewhere in Kent.

Bob Hitch and his wife Valerie, who founded the organisation 25 years ago this year, have not yet had to turn a goat away – but they fear they could have to if homes cannot be found for some already in their care.

Bob Hitch with some of the goats at Buttercups Goat Sanctuary in Boughton Monchelsea
Bob Hitch with some of the goats at Buttercups Goat Sanctuary in Boughton Monchelsea

Mr Hitch said: “We have had such a demand from people that we have had to put them in the corridor – we have actually had to make pens in the corridor. We haven’t had to turn any away yet.”

He blamed the rising numbers on the financial downturn and owners being forced to downsize, adding: “It's very sad really. Sometimes people have had them since they were kids. I, it is distressing for them, not only for the goats, but for the owners ’ point of view too.

“Some have been abandoned in fields. Some get taken to market and sold for slaughter so we have to try and take them in.”

The sanctuary is looking for people with some land, with space for the animals to play in. Potential fosterers need to be willing to take more than one, as they are sociable animals.

A home check will be carried out and the animals can remain the property of the charity and so that if they need to be rehomed again later they can be given back.

Mr Hitch said: “Goats love people. We are looking for good animal lovers that are happy to take in some in.”goats. They like to have their ears tickled and they also like to interact with eachother.”

The charity runs an Adopt a Goat scheme, and will hold its next open day on Sunday, May 1, where people can feed them. If you would like to donate, or volunteer, email enquiries@buttercups.org.uk, or call 01622 746420 before noon or 01622 746410 after noon.

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