Workers at Tires Plus in Minnesota help a spray-painted goat who was headed for slaughter

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated September 08, 2009 11:45 AM

If Brett the goat could talk, he’d definitely give a hearty thank you to the guys at Tires Plus, a car service center in Winona, Minn.

Brett made national headlines last month after workers there discovered him in the trunk of a car brought in for service on Aug. 21. He was spray-painted purple and gold and the number 4 was shaved into his fur, a clear reference to former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. The woman who dropped off the car said he would later be taken to slaughter.

Horrified that the sweet goat who cried in the trunk was facing almost certain death, the guys at Tires Plus called the local animal control. Since then, with the help of some dedicated animal lovers, the goat has found a permanent home at Schultz’s Country Barn, a farm in Eleva, Wis., where his new owner tells PEOPLE Pets he’s thriving.

“He is very loveable and loved,” says Carlene Schultz. “He likes to be pet by humans. When he sees people he runs up to fence like he’s saying, ‘pet me, pet me!’ “

Brett’s new living space is a goat’s dream: He has a ramp with tires to play on, an enclosed area to escape the elements, and some fun roommates – he lives with about 12 other pygmy goats. “They have made friends already,” says Schultz. “I saw them rubbing noses the other day.”

Schultz’s farm gets plenty of visitors who frequent their country store and pumpkin patch, and kids often like to watch – and sometimes feed – the many animals they have, which includes more than a dozen goats, chickens, llamas, miniature horses and even a donkey. Schultz says she encourages families to bring vegetable scraps for the animals to eat, and Brett especially loves to nibble on the treats he receives from visitors.

As for how he looks, Schultz says remnants of his past remains, but he resembles a typical-looking goat more and more each day. “The purple and gold has been washed off, but we still see it in the sunlight and the shaved number four is still there, but it will grow out eventually,” she says.

She adds that while her family does not approve of the way people expressed their Brett Favre affection on the adorable goat, she admits that they are a family of Packers fans, and they call him Brett with pride. In fact, the farm made headlines last year for another Packers connection. The Schultz family created a corn maze showing a likeness of Favre throwing a pass next to the giant word “thanks.”

Regardless of the football connection the folks who helped save Brett’s life say they are thrilled he’s doing well. “I feel really happy he has a good life,” says James Prusi, a service writer at Tires Plus who was the first person to learn the goat was in the trunk. “My coworkers and I didn’t expect it would be such a big story, but we’re just really happy he’s doing well. I want to go visit him.”

For more information on Brett’s new home, click here.