Dog Kills Almost 40 Goats In One Week - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Dog Kills Almost 40 Goats In One Week

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A warning to all viewers: some of the images in this story are graphic.

Within one week, a local farm lost around 90% of its livestock. The Baxter family in Muscatine County had around 40 goats. Today, they're left with only four, and damages they say could amount to around $20,000. They say they want justice.

"This is what we do and now, everything is gone," said Edmond Baxter, whose great, great grandparents raised goats.

"The goats are like family to us," he said. "My sister, she named every single one of these goats."

This week, the Baxters lost a big part of their lives. Not once, but twice. At around 3:30 AM Sunday, Edmond's dad woke up to barking.

"He went back in, and got the rifle, and he came back out, and all of them were dead," he said.

He fired shots and the dog ran away. 16 goats died, while the rest stayed temporarily secured in another fenced area.

"They relied on us to stay alive, and we just feel like we failed them," he said.

Friday night, a second attack happened, leaving only four goats. The Baxters say they want the dog put down or relocated. Under Iowa state law, the property owner can kill the dog while it's attacking livestock or children. After the fact, police say, they can't.

"You can't do it half an hour after the fact, and you can't do it a week after the fact, and you can't chase the dog back to the owner's property," Sergeant Mike Schmidt of the Muscatine County Sheriff's Office said. "If that occurs, it has to happen while the attack is going on."

The family's only option is to take the matter to civil court, and sue who they presume to be the dog's owner for damages.

"We're going to be forced to take out a lawyer, lawyer bills, just to get back to where we were," Baxter said.

"We hate to say it like that, but it's a civil matter that we really can't do anything about without a court order," Sergeant Schmidt said.

Meanwhile, the hard work to re-raise livestock continues.

"We're going to come back, and we're going to do this," Baxter said.

The Baxters say they'd been raising the goats killed this week for more than five years, hoping to rent them out to local farms for brush control. Police say they recommend involving law enforcement when dealing with an attack. They say it's hard to tell when that might happen, but advise fencing the area as much as possible for protection.

 

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