In what could be the most charming kinship in all of Bucks County, a miniature horse and a goose have become best friends. And they’re looking for a new home — together.

The horse, Waffles, and Hemingway, the goose, were rescued from neglect on a local farm and are spending their days together at the Bucks County SPCA. Shelter officials say they’ll be ready for adoption in a few weeks. But there’s a catch: They must be adopted together.

“These two, right from the get-go, they were best buddies," said SPCA spokesperson Cindy Kelly.

Shelter officers rescued Waffles and Hemingway last month from a rental property on Route 152 in Hilltown Township, where they, along with some ducks and peacocks, were being kept in “absolutely filthy conditions,” Kelly said.

Peacocks and geese at John and Jennifer Achenbach's Hilltown property on July 12, 2019. The birds, which animal county officers said were severely neglected, are in a dirty pen.
Bucks County SPCA
Peacocks and geese at John and Jennifer Achenbach's Hilltown property on July 12, 2019. The birds, which animal county officers said were severely neglected, are in a dirty pen.

“The little mini-horse didn’t have adequate shelter when it was really cold in the winter," Kelly said.

Investigators charged John and Jennifer Achenbach, originally of Bushkill, Pike County, with animal neglect. The Achenbachs, who have relinquished ownership of the animals, are expected to appear in court before District Judge Regina Armitage on Sept. 9.

Since arriving at the shelter, Waffles, a plump white horse with soulful eyes and stubby legs, and Hemingway, a protective domestic goose, have been staying together in a barn stall, where they’ve grown closer.

One day, Kelly said, “Hemingway the goose had his head and his neck leaning on Waffles."

Hemingway.
Bucks County SPCA
Hemingway.

“It’s very evident when you’re in the stall with them that you don’t get in between them," she said. "Hemingway can make kind of a fuss — slap his wings, honk at you — if he feels you’re going for Waffles. It makes it kind of challenging for the medical team.”

Shelter officials are hoping someone experienced in caring for farm animals will adopt the pair, Kelly said — “someone that understands that they’re farm animals, and not just a novelty pet to be kept in a backyard.”

The Bucks County SPCA has estimated that Waffles is around 6½ years old. Hemingway could be from a year to 6 years old, the organization said.

The two are expected to be up for adoption in a few weeks. Shelter officials have posted a picture of them on the SPCA website and calls are flowing in.

“We’ve definitely had a lot of interest," Kelly said, noting that on Friday morning, the shelter received dozens of calls from people wanting to adopt. "They’re obviously really charming.”