This whole “emotional support animal” craze has been a wild ride for all involved. Over the past few years the increasingly popular trend has gone from cute and fun—pig on a plane, duck on a plane, squirrel on a plane—to gimmicky and obnoxious—people getting fake emotional support dogs, this guy registering a beer as his service animal. Last August the United States Department of Transportation declared that miniature horses should qualify as support animals and be allowed on flights—good for everyone—and then this week announced that they would be cracking down on all service animals except dogs—bad for owners of miniature horses.
But no one’s been on quite the emotional rollercoaster that Bunter has. Bunter’s a cow who lives in the small town of Maungaturoto, in the Northland Region of New Zealand, and last year he slipped into a deep depression after the death of his friend, another cow named Rosie. In an attempt to lift his spirits, Joe Robin—owner of Bunter and caretaker of the Maungaturoto Hotel where Bunter lives—introduced him to Peaches the goat, Newshub reports.
“After Rosie passed away Bunter got really depressed and we heard that goats were good therapy, and there was a lady who was willing to gift Peaches to us," said Joe. "As soon as Peaches arrived in the paddock, Bunter was a different cow, running around everywhere."
Joe further claimed that Bunter started eating again after the arrival of Peaches, who had formed an unlikely friendship with the sad cow and become something of an emotional therapy goat.
Then, towards the end of last year, someone stole Peaches.
Northland Police said they investigated a burglary at the Maungaturoto property in mid-December, and began making enquiries into Peaches’ disappearance straight away. Shortly thereafter, Joe spotted a group of goats on a local property, and thought one of them might have been her therapy animal.
"The property had a whole lot of goats there, but there was one in particular that was on its own and she was a lot whiter than the rest," she said. "We did our own investigating, and then we called up Maungaturoto Police.”
The police soon looked into the matter, confirming that the goat was in fact Peaches, and she was promptly returned home via a police escort. Reinforced and electrified fencing has since been erected around the paddock to prevent the precious goat from going AWOL again, but ultimately no charges were laid against the burglar.