A HEARTBROKEN goat who was abandoned under a viaduct in Crewe refused to leave the side of his dead friend.

RSPCA inspectors Nadine Pengilly and Naomi Norris were called to Basford on Monday morning, after a Network Rail worker spotted the animals.

“The man who called us reported that one of the goats had sadly died and his friend had stayed with him, watching over his body,” inspector Pengilly said.

“He’d spotted the goats himself that morning but told us a colleague had seen them four days earlier on January 18. Unfortunately I fear they’d been dumped here by someone who no longer wanted them.

“What isn’t clear is whether the second goat was already dead or whether he died after being abandoned at this dumping ground.”

The inspectors contacted Trading Standards to request permission to move the goats - as is needed with all livestock - and returned the next day with two other officers for help.

Inspector Pengilly said: “Goats can be very strong and their horns can do some serious damage so we always have to be extremely careful when moving them - especially if they’re already stressed, which this poor chap was.

"It took four of us to move him, walking him through the fields. Two of us held onto his horns and the others each had a lead rope around his neck.

“He was extremely distressed by it all, especially having to leave his friend behind. He kept trying to headbutt us all but thankfully we all survived without any injuries, as did he.”

The goat - who had no injuries and seemed to be in a good condition - will be moved to a local smallholding where he will have new friends to mix with.

“It was heartbreaking to see him standing there, guarding the body of his friend,” inspector Pengilly said.

“Goats are incredibly social animals and this chap refused to leave his friend, even after he had died, watching over him and protecting his body, possibly for days.

“It’s really touching to see the bond between them and so sad to think someone could so cruelly abandon them here.

“At least now we know this goat will go on to live a happy life with other goats, just as he should.”

Anyone with any information about the goats’ abandonment should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for inspector Pengilly.