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A visit from GingerSnap the Therapy Goat brings smiles and stress relief

GingerSnap and MoonPie, two beloved therapy goats, are making a significant impact in Statesboro. Recently, GingerSnap brought comfort and joy to students at Bulloch Academy during final exams, showcasing the profound benefits of animal-assisted therapy, where their presence alleviated stress while encouraging emotional support and social skills development in students.

GingerSnap and MoonPie are two therapy goats taking Statesboro by storm. Known for frequenting local businesses, organizations, and schools, they certainly bring joy wherever they go.

At the end of the school year, GingerSnap visited Bulloch Academy, where she was declared the “newest addition to their counseling department” after spending an afternoon with students during the week of final testing and leaving an incredible impact.

Tara Nix, a counselor at the school, shared that BA had brought the goat in to help reduce testing anxiety and help the students get out of their heads.


“It’s no secret to teachers, parents, or even students, that kids take on a lot of pressure and carry a heavy burden when it comes to their end-of-year test scores,” Nix said. “However, we want them to know that while their grades are important, they do not define who they are. They have inherent value outside of those things. So we thought inviting GingerSnap to come visit was a great way to help the kids just relax and have fun that week, and forget about all of that for just a bit.”

Animals are known to help reduce general anxiety and act as a unique source of emotional support for many. GingerSnap, like her colleague MoonPie, is a Nigerian Dwarf goat with years of experience as a therapeutic support animal.

Nix described GingerSnap as calm and easygoing with the kids, and the overall experience was impactful and personally moving.

“It was a beautiful thing that happened right before my eyes. As soon as they saw the goat, their faces just lit up, it didn’t matter the age. You could see the stress and worry just fall right off their shoulders. It really was amazing. Everyone got involved, even some of our more shy kids were participating, feeling befriended by GingerSnap,” she said. “That’s the thing about animals, they’re not judgmental, they just accept you as you are.”


Some of the students had never been around goats, while others had initial fears and reservations. However, GingerSnap’s gentle and patient nature helped the kids to feel at ease, allowing them to overcome their fears.

“We understand that’s a big win for that child, for a child to take a chance, to try something new, to do something they were initially afraid of, those opportunities are important, they’re formative,” Nix explained.

When kids are presented with experiences such as this, they get a chance to develop and practice social skills, emotional awareness, and maturity. Most importantly, they’re given the chance to embrace playfulness, to let go, and just be kids for a bit.


“Our students, these kids, they have such drive and dedication to their school, and they work incredibly hard. They deserve the chance to just be young and relax and laugh, even if it’s just for 20 minutes,” Nix emphasized.

She expressed a desire to have GingerSnap return to work with the students in the future, speaking highly of the therapy goat and her owner, Tonya Cooper.

“This is a wonderful resource for our community and fills a special need. Tonya is great too, and is very willing to partner with the people of Statesboro. Speaking from experience, I know the positive impact they can have, and you’ll just be smiling the rest of the day.”


With summer now here, these therapy goats are sure to continue spreading joy and support throughout the Statesboro community, bringing smiles and relief wherever they go. Whether it’s at local events or organizations, these therapy goats are a testament to the power of animal-assisted therapy and its ability to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they encounter.

Be on the lookout for GingerSnap and MoonPie this summer!