Big Teddy Bear Named Kevin Provides Cuddles and Companionship to Rescue Goats Looking for Love

New Jersey sanctuary, Goats of Anarchy, started placing a giant stuffed animal with rescue goats who had to spend the night alone and found that the goats adored the plush's company

Farm animals with Kevin the bear
Photo: Courtesy of Goats of Anarchy (2)

Kevin the plush bear is an in-demand valentine at Goats of Anarchy.

The farm animal sanctuary in New Jersey, which specializes in caring for goats with disabilities, is home to 172 goats and numerous other farm animals.

Over her years at Goats of Anarchy (GOA), the sanctuary's president and founder, Leanne Lauricella, has seen firsthand the loving bonds goats form with one another.

"Goats are extremely affectionate, and they bond for life. If there are siblings or a mom and a baby, as long as people don't split them up, they are bonded for their whole lives," Lauricella tells PEOPLE. "They curl up together; they lay on each other; they sleep together. So they naturally want to cuddle."

Lauricella and the other humans who work and volunteer at GOA make an effort never to leave a goat on their own overnight, but, unfortunately, there are times when one of the sanctuary's goats needs to be apart from the pack.

This was the case with Liam, a little goat who recently came to the sanctuary as an emergency rescue.

"He was injured in a fence at a farm close to us. His back leg had gotten tangled in the fence, and it was dangling by a tendon. So we took him immediately, got him care and an amputation surgery," Lauricella says of Liam's arrival at the sanctuary's hospital.

"He had to stay in the hospital alone for biosecurity reasons and to heal. And we felt bad. We usually will have a friend in there with them for company, but he was brand new and had to be alone," the founder adds.

To avoid leaving Liam with no one to cuddle with, GOA got the goat a "big, giant teddy bear and put it in the stall with him."

Farm animals with Kevin the bear
Courtesy of Goats of Anarchy

Liam quickly warmed up to the big bear, curling up in the stuffed animal's lap after giving the plush a few good sniffs. GOA decided to leave the comforting bear — named Kevin by the sanctuary — in Liam's stall throughout his recovery and was amazed by the results.

"Liam was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, just him and Kevin in a stall, and he just loved him," Lauricella says. "It was so good for him, mentally and emotionally, to have that little buddy. And every time I'd go in Liam's stall, he was in Kevin's lap curled up, just sleeping."

So when Liam graduated from the hospital, Kevin moved out with him and stayed with the little goat until he made friends with the other farm animals.

Farm animals with Kevin the bear
Courtesy of Goats of Anarchy

But Kevin's job didn't end there. After seeing Kevin's effect on Liam, GOA started introducing the plush to other animals in need of a friend.

"We started putting Kevin in with goats with disabilities that have to be in a stall by themselves at night for one reason or another. And every time, they would just crawl up in Kevin's lap and just snuggle," says Lauricella.

Kevin got even more popular after the sanctuary put the giant plush on their Amazon wishlist, so they could get more of the big bears and offer the stuffed animal's friendship services to several animals at once.

"We started getting so many Kevins. We had teddy bears coming from all over. So we have all these giant teddy bears all over the place. We're putting them everywhere, and the goats love them," the founder shares, adding that the Kevin bear is no longer on GOA's wishlist since the sanctuary has more than enough of the plush right now.

Farm animals with Kevin the bear
Courtesy of Goats of Anarchy

Goats of Anarchy sent some of their surplus Kevins to other sanctuaries caring for goats and found that those goats loved cuddling with the toy too.

"It's really cute," Lauricella summarizes.

Goats aren't the only animals that have found comfort in Kevin; other GOA animals, like the sanctuary's ducks, have also enjoyed snuggle sessions with the bear.

Farm animals with Kevin the bear
Courtesy of Goats of Anarchy

But it's GOA's goats who remain Kevin's biggest fans — and Rupert is the most "infamous" member of Kevin's fan club, according to Lauricella. She adds that the goat is blind and deaf and has a severe jaw deformity, so he usually responds most to activities and objects that engage his sense of touch.

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"He can't see. He kind of interacts with the other goats. But when he met Kevin for the first time, he was just smelling him all over and licking him, and immediately just curled up in his lap," the founder says. "He can't see him, but he loves the way he feels. He sleeps with Kevin every night, and we have to get him a new Kevin pretty often because Rupert drools on him so much."

Farm animals with Kevin the bear
Courtesy of Goats of Anarchy

Lauricella hopes Kevin teaches humans the affection and love animals, especially goats, have to offer.

"They need and desire to be hugged, and cuddled, and loved," she shares.

To learn more about Goats of Anarchy and how to help the sanctuary care for farm animals in need, visit the sanctuary's website and Instagram.

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