“I’ve literally gotten hundreds of phone calls and messages and I couldn’t even get back to everybody."
HOLT — A 72-year-old woman with terminal cancer who was looking to find homes for her more than 70 goats said she's found new families for nearly all of them.
Brooke Broderick, the owner and sole proprietor of Draggin’ Acres Goats in Holt, said the response to a Northwest Florida Daily News story on Jan. 21 about her search for homes for the goats has been “overwhelming.”
“I’ve literally gotten hundreds of phone calls and messages and I couldn’t even get back to everybody,” Broderick said while sitting at her farm Thursday morning. One of her goats, Precious, nudged at her legs. “It was not what I expected," she added.
Broderick was diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer in November 2016, and was told by doctors shortly thereafter that the cancer had metastasized and she didn’t have too long to live. Broderick’s primary concern since getting the news has been finding homes for her more than 70 goats, which lived with her on the 12-acre property.
Broderick has bred and sold goats to people across the Southeast for the past 20 years. The goats, she said, are like her own children, and though she’s glad she’s found homes for most of them, she’s sad to see them go.
“I’m just praying that I’ve picked the right homes for them, for the personalities of the animals and the people,” she said. “It’s been hard, I’m not going to lie. But it has to be done.”
Her property, which was once bustling with the sounds and movements of Nigerian dwarf and pygmy goats, now sits nearly empty save Broderick and her remaining 15 goats. Empty goat pens, toys and food bowls are still staggered around the property, and the remaining goats roam free in Broderick’s front yard.
Most of the remaining goats, including three kids (the term for baby goats), are still for sale. But about five of them, which Broderick has nicknamed “Posie’s Posse,” after one of her beloved goats named Posie, will remain with Broderick until the end.
“I’ve decided to keep a few of them as long as I can, until I either have to be put in a hospital or something. They’ll be here as long as I live here,” she said. “Of course, my hope is one night, I’ll just go to sleep and not wake up.”
Broderick said that in the weeks since the first story was published, she’s met many people from far and wide who have expressed interest in owning the goats. She's been touched by the response and was surprised at the kindness of so many people.
“I don’t think I’ve gotten one negative remark out of the hundreds of messages and calls,” she said. “I’m just amazed at the kindness of people I’ve never met. I’ve been humbled, I’ve been overwhelmed and I’ve been so grateful.”