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Therapy pygmy goats visit Charlton Farm

07 June 2024 CHSW

A trio of furry friends made a special stop off to a children’s hospice.

Pedigree pygmy therapy goats Dorothy, Bon Bon and Rodney spent the morning with families at Children Hospice South West’s Charlton Farm.

The families enjoyed meeting the goats, spending time with them sitting on their laps and even taking them for a walk around the hospice garden.

A pygmy goat

The goats, owned by Tanya Sheasby of The Little Farming Company, have been regular visitors to the hospice over the years.

Tanya comes from a farming family and her grandmother was the among the first in the UK to breed guide dogs.

Her mum Diana was also the first person to have therapy animals in Scotland, taking them into nursing homes and schools and care facilities.

Boy with pygmy goat

Tanya has 20 pedigree goats at her farm in Gloucestershire and also produces around a dozen every year for other people as pets or therapy animals.

As well as visiting Charlton Farm, Tanya and her goats also visit nurseries, schools, hospitals and care homes.

One of her therapy goats has even visited Ikea, riding on the travelator in a trolley.

“The goats usually visit inside but it was such a lovely day we had an outside visit as well,” said Tanya

“Bringing the goats to Charlton Farm offers such a different type of stimulation and joy to the children and young people.

“Their visits allow the families to remove themselves from their situation momentarily and immerse themselves in being close to the animals.”

Girl with pygmy goat

When the goats arrive back at their farm they enjoy playing in their specially built adventure playground.

“They love being outside and playing and they love being around people,” said Tanya.

“The only thing they don’t like is the rain.”

Charlton Farm Senior Team Leader Helen Broadbent said: “Meeting the therapy goats is an opportunity that families may not be able to access elsewhere.

“It is a fun thing to do as a family, making special memories in the beautiful surroundings of Charlton Farm.”