Attorney General William Tong is calling for the state to take permanent custody of 65 goats seized from a Redding property earlier this month.
According to the Attorney General's Office, the Department of Agriculture seized the goats from owner Nancy Burton on March 10 after the Town of Redding and Redding Police Department received multiple complaints about roaming goats and other violations.
According to Tong, police received more than 120 complaints about the goats living at a property on Cross Highway dating back to 2007. On April 20, 2020, one of the goats was roaming and was struck by a car. At that time Burton was charged with animal cruelty. Her case is ongoing.
During the March 10 seizure, investigators found 40-50 dead goats on the property in different states of decomposition. One body, found in a shelter, showed signs that the animal had been struggling for "a significant amount of time" before it died, according to police.
Tong has filed a motion in Hartford Superior Court requesting permanent state custody of the animals. The motion also requests a court order to have Burton compensate the Department of Agriculture for the animals' care.
“This is a sad and cruel case of animal neglect. No animal should ever suffer in this way,” said Attorney General Tong. “State intervention is never our first choice. Resources and assistance are available to animal owners in need. That support was repeatedly offered and refused in this case. We are now left with no option but to seek permanent state custody to protect the health and safety of these goats and to get them the care they deserve.”
State officials said taking the animals was the last resort after trying to work with the owner.
Stories from NBCLX
LX, or Local X stands, for the exponential possibilities of storytelling in our communities.