Franklin County goat turns viral sensation

When Ashley Robinson and Mandy McGrath first adopted their goat Toupe at 3 days old, they only knew they were adopting a cute baby goat who would need their love and nurturing to survive.

Twelve weeks later, Toupe has become an integral part of their family – and has turned into a viral sensation.

“He has a lot of personality and is definitely not your average goat,” Robinson said. “He plays with the dogs, and we take him pretty much everywhere with us.”

One day during a trip to McDonalds in early March, McGrath took a picture of Toupe, also known as “Baby Goat,” biting on her drink straw and shared it to Facebook as her cover photo.

“I didn’t think too much of it,” McGrath said. “I take pictures like this of him every day because I’m obsessed with him.”

McGrath said before long, the photo was being shared and posted to other popular sites, such as Reddit.

The Toupe post garnered more than 200,000 likes on Reddit and even appeared in XXL Magazine, which Robinson said was the craziest part for her.

Since posting the picture of Toupe, Robinson and McGrath said they both receive messages daily from family members across the country telling them they are seeing pictures of their baby goat everywhere.

“It is crazy how fast this thing has grown and how far it has reached,” Robinson said.

Robinson said since the picture of Toupe went viral, she has been contacted by several companies for collaborations to feature him in various campaigns.

As an owner of a digital marketing agency, Robinson said she understands how difficult it is to turn one viral post into something more.

“I have really been thinking a lot about how we can use him to market education about goats or about bottle babies,” Robinson said. “We are just trying to get people to see goats differently.”

Toupe has a new Instagram page, @dorablebabygoat, where McGrath and Robinson post pictures of him. Robinson said they have also considered making a YouTube channel for him.

Robinson said despite Toupe’s internet popularity, he had a humble upbringing in Franklin County around the Belgreen area.

Robinson and McGrath’s neighbors contacted them one day asking if they would be interested in adopting a 3-day-old goat who was rejected by its mother.

“We originally said we were only going to go over there to look at it, but I told Ashley to prepare that if it was cute, it was probably coming home with us,” McGrath said.

Once adopting him, Robinson and McGrath raised him from a bottle and began loving him as the family baby.

“We will take him to so many stores with us, and we will usually put him in the front of a stroller,” McGrath said. “A lot of people will walk by and assume he is a dog, but then when they look closer, they realize it is a goat, and everyone wants to pet him and see him.”

Robinson said although watching a post go viral has been fun, at the end of the day, he is still their baby goat.