Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department’s Penelope helps kids deal with stress

BEDFORD – Amber Branham saved Penelope’s life and now the little Nigerian Dwarf goat is putting smiles back on the faces of children during stressful times beyond their control.

Penelope was born on March 3, 2022, and was one of a set of triplets. She weighed under 2 pounds when she was born.

Penelope and Amber Branham

“Mom had a hard birth and lost the first baby,” said Branham. “I had to help deliver it. Penelope was the second to be born and she was much smaller, the third was another boy. Momma took the boy but would not let Penelope nurse. I took her as a bottle baby the next morning.”

But Penelope had a hard time standing or walking.

“But the second day her front knee joints were severely swollen,” added Branham. “I took her to the farm vet and she tried several antibiotics and pain meds for her. I had to build her a little wheelchair to help get her up walking again.”

Slowly but surely Penelope started to walk.

“She is still taking a bottle, no hay yet,” added Branham. “I have introduced grain to her and she has tried it but still loves her bottle. She wears a diaper like a champ too.”

Branham took the little goat to the Sheriff’s Department while she was working.

“I do bring her to work with me daily and everyone that has met her, LOVES her,” Branham added. “Especially little kids that come in under not great reasons, they get to pet her and ask questions and just be happy, even if it’s for a few minutes.”

Penelope stays in Branham’s office in a box and is not allowed to run free.

Penelope now weighs six pounds and is doing great.

Branham loves animals and once rescued tiny opossums when the mother was killed after being struck by a vehicle.

“We took them to the wildlife care place in Bloomington. I’d like to get more into rescue,” she added.