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In 2014, Leanne Lauricella followed her dreams.
"I was living the fast life in N.Y.C. and working as an event planner for several years before the stress and monotony started to take its toll. I began to realize that doing the same thing day in and day out was not for me, and I was tired of working so hard to further someone else's dream," she told PEOPLE.
The spark of her new life started when she ditched the Mercedes and adopted two rescue goats.
"I was hooked and quickly realized that my heart was being drawn in a new direction. I decided to quit my job to do some soul searching and immediately found myself involved with farm animal rescue," she added.
Today, Lauricella runs Goats of Anarchy (GOA), an animal rescue in New Jersey that specializes in being a safe haven for special needs baby goats.
As Lauricella's operation continues to grow, she is celebrating the goats she has helped save through Goats of Anarchy, the same animals that saved her, with a book that shares its name with her rescue, Goats of Anarchy.
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Jax and Ophie were the first goats to come into Lauricella's life. This is the twosome that the GOA founder adopted when she was looking for a change, which they were happy to provide.
"Before GOA, goats were of no value to me other than goat cheese," she said.
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Now, goats run her world. Lauricella is dedicated to changing the way farm animals are treated and how they are viewed, especially goats who live at dairy farms
"I was completely oblivious to the horrific conditions in factory farms, and many small dairy farms across the world. I had no idea that male baby goats were taken from their mothers immediately after birth, sold to auctions and then again for slaughter. Most male goats don't live to see their first birthday. I experienced this first hand when I went undercover to a sale barn and rescued injured and dying baby goats on their way to slaughter. I was unaware that female goats are repeatedly impregnated in overcrowded and filthy factory farms, and that their babies are taken from them each time so that their milk can be sold to make soap and cheese. Today, goats play a crucial part of my life. They are like my children and, for them, I strive to educate people about the dairy industry, hoping that more goats' lives will be saved."
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Along with rescuing goats from the dismal realities of dairy farms, Goats of Anarchy focuses on saving and rehabilitating special needs goats.
"Many of our baby goats have suffered frostbite, causing them to lose their ears and some of their legs. We get them through the healing process and then raise funds for prosthetic limbs. Currently, we have five goats in prosthetics and five more babies who are either healing or growing and will be getting their first sets in the next few months."
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Among these sweeties are goats like Polly, a blind baby goat with additional neurological issues and an endearing personality. She rocketed to fame recently, when photos hit the web of her wearing an adorable duck costume to calm her anxiety.
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Another of the rescue's special needs superstars is Pocket, Polly's brother, who was born in Virginia missing the bottom half of his back legs. He is a fan favorite on the GOA Instagram.
"While he is growing, we are making temporary prosthetics out of foam pipe insulators and he will eventually graduate to his first set of prosthetic legs," Lauricella said about Pocket's progress.
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From sweeties like these, Lauricella has learned to enjoy life and has passed that joy on to countless others who have come to visit Goats of Anarchy. Her book gives everyone a chance to bask in a little goat glee.
"Goats love life. They are the most social, playful and the most resilient animals I've ever known. They are accepting of one another in spite of their differences," Lauricella gushed about her residents.
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If looking at these shots and hearing Lauricella's story has you thinking about adopting a goat into your life, the founder has some advice:
"I would recommend to anyone looking to get their first goat, to get two. Goats are herd animals and must be with their own kind. I receive messages from people wondering why their goat is aggressive, loud and destructive. The first question I ask is if they are an 'only goat.' The answer is always yes. Goats are absolutely miserable alone and a dog, donkey, pig or chicken just won't cut it. I would advise anyone considering this to do plenty of research. There is a myth that goats are tough but they are actually quite fragile and highly susceptible to injury, illness and disease. Because goats are prey animals they often don't show signs that something is wrong until it's too late so you really need to be educated about their needs. I would also recommend that people volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary before getting goats of their own to make sure they don't mind getting their hands dirty."
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