When her husband found a baby goat tied up in a cardboard box and left for dead on the side of a road in Matinecock, Manda Kalimian knew what she had to do.
As soon as she got the call relaying news of the discovery on Jan. 20, Kalimian, founder of the CANA Foundation, a Locust Valley-based nonprofit wild horse rescue, jumped in her truck and rushed to the scene on Old Lane Road. She tried to save it from freezing to death in the 20-degree weather that day, but it was too late.
“A frenzy of baby bottles of goat milk, heated towels, blankets, and emergency veterinary care could not save this poor 10-day-old baby goat from the inhumanity that had befallen him,” Kalimian wrote of her experience. “He died eight hours after we found him. The only thing I can wrap my mind around is that at least he didn’t die frozen and alone in the dark and he felt compassion around him as he slipped away.”
Such discoveries are not uncommon on Long Island. Nassau and Suffolk SPCA investigators routinely report cases of animals — some wild, other domestic, occasionally those typically found on a farm — dead, neglected, or abused. Such cases are often investigated as animal cruelty, a misdemeanor in New York State punishable by imprisonment, a fine, or both. But not all perpetrators are apprehended and charged.
For Kalimian, who spends her days trying to rescue wild horses out West from being euthanized by the federal government, the goat discovery underscores her mission to try to change some people’s perception of animals as being disposable, like the person who dumped a baby goat on the side of the road like a piece of garbage.
“What happens to a society when they have become so callous and self-absorbed that they have no regard for the natural world around them?” she asks. “Where is compassion and a sense of morality for even the smallest of things? … It is the little things and small acts of kindness that actually matter the most.”