Five-year-old Frosty almost always looks like he’s smiling. And there’s good reason.
His owner has spent thousands of dollars to keep her beloved pet alive and kicking – literally. The Nubian goat lives on a farm in Marvin, North Carolina, and is one of only two known goats in the country with a prosthetic limb.
“Very unusual, I’m sure he’s the only one I’ll treat,” says Alexis Sage, the veterinarian who has helped care for Frosty since he was born.
Frosty was just a baby when he got a bad infection in his right knee. A fall a few years later complicated things and a specialist suggested putting him down. His owner Deb Barry wouldn’t even consider it.
“He’s my pet. He’s like a dog. He comes when he’s called, he jumps on your leg, he’s very expressive,” Barry tells PEOPLE.
So she’s worked with Sage and a number of specialists over the years to get Frosty fitted for a prosthetic.
When his leg was first amputated, they figured he would manage on just three legs.
Sage says, “We assumed he would get up and walk on three legs and hop, but he didn’t want to even stand. He wouldn’t do it so the only way for him to walk was to have a prosthetic limb attached.”
Over the years what’s left of his leg has changed and most recently a specialist from Florida flew in and fitted Frosty exactly as he would a human.
“This is his third prosthetic because like a human, the stump shrinks over time,” Sage explains.
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Now Frosty loves to walk around, wearing the prosthetic several hours a day.
Hall estimates she’s spent almost $10,000 caring for her pet. She knows some people think she’s crazy.
“Yeah, I think many do. Including my family. They think it’s too much money, too much effort.” But she says seeing him up and about makes it all worthwhile. “It’s worth it, it’s worth it. It’s wonderful, it’s great just to see him walking on the farm.”
“It’s incredible to watch him,” Sage says smiling. “Just incredible.”