LOUISA, Va. (WWBT) - More than five dozen goats seized from a Louisa home due to what investigators call neglect. Photos authorities shared show the goats in deplorable conditions. Officers some of them were forced to walk on their front knees because of severe infection in their hooves.
"They took them all,” Rick Bergeron said.
He isn’t a happy camper.
"Give me 30 days. I have a vet,” he said suggesting authorities should have compromised rather than seizing 67 of his goats.
Animal Control officers raided his place Monday taking the goats he cared for on Wickham Road in Bumpass.
“The animals are fed, watered, hayed, loved on, talked to, called by name everyday several times a day,” Melinda Hook added.
Authorities say after acting on an anonymous tip, they found goats with severely overgrown wool coated with flies and even feces. They say some could barely walk due to severe infection and leg deformities.
“We’re behind in our shearing. The weather has not been good for that. You can’t shear a wet goat and we don’t force them to remain in a shelter. All of their shelters are free choice,” Hook said.
Officers were especially concerned because they claim some of the goats were malnourished.
"Water three times a day, feed once a day…I’m feeding three and a half bags of grain per day for 67 goats,” Bergeron added.
They just want their goats back.
"Bring them home and I mean now,” he said sternly.
A hearing in this case will take place soon. That’s when a judge will hear all of the evidence and decide whether seizing the animals was justified. After that outcome, police will know whether to move forward with criminal charges.
"Oh we’re going to fight it. We've already gotten an attorney,” Hook added.
The owners weren’t home during the seizure because they had just taken one of their goats to the vet. That goat has since passed away. Another one had to be euthanized after authorities removed it from the family’s home.
Additional photos from the seizure may be difficult for some people to view:
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