Woman quits job and starts second career running baby goat sanctuary
Leanne Lauricella had everything she'd ever wanted. Yet despite a wonderful home with her husband in Mansfield Township, New Jersey, and a well-paid job in New York City, she knew privately that something was missing.
"I had a great job in New York City," she explained. "But the commute was awful, the stress level was high, and I often asked myself, 'Is this what life is?' I was feeling completely unfulfilled and I knew there had to be something more."
The turning point came in 2014 when Leanne was volunteering for The Barnyard Sanctuary, a farm animal rescue organization near her. She found herself falling in love with the animals and enjoying her hobby more and more. She realized that taking care of the baby goats she'd adopted made her happier than she'd ever been, so she made a big decision: she was going to exchange her designer duds for overalls and her Mercedes for a pickup truck.
She adopted more baby goats — focusing particularly on handicapped animals — started posting their antics on her Instagram account Goats of Anarchy (warning: it's highly addictive), and after getting featured by Instagram, became an overnight sensation.
All the while her life was richer and more meaningful than she'd ever known it.
Her friends were worried that she'd quit her job and would have no source of income. As she recalls, "Some people have called me foolish or irresponsible for quitting my job without a plan, but for me, it was a leap of faith."
Since Leanne had seen her husband leave his 25-year career to restore classic sports cars, she knew what was possible — and she knew how good it could feel to do what you really love. "When you find and follow your passion, all of the silly things you thought were important, don't seem so important anymore." She doesn't care about status, she's too busy looking after her goats.
Her hobby farm grew and grew until she realized it really was the sanctuary people kept calling it. To pay the extra vet bills, she started selling adorable animal-themed t-shirts on Etsy. She's since added two rabbits, a pony, a donkey, and a pig to the happy menagerie!
It can still be stressful but she looks forward to the challenges she faces today. She gave up something that looked right for something that feels right, and she's loving every minute of it. You can tell that she made the right decision.
She's never looked back: in fact, she's expanding with an upcoming website, a book, and a Gofundme page that's already raise nearly $60,000 for a real farm nearby to house the growing family. You can see some of the cuties and watch her talk about her plans on Rachael Ray here.
Wow! Good luck, Leanne. This is such an adorable, commendable project — and inspiring that she's managed to turn her passion into such a success.