My name is Matt and Volt was my Goat. Volt was a Kiko goat whos genetics are traced back to New Zealand. He was my breeding male on the farm. I purchased Volt at a younger age and have spent almost every day with him working with and training him. If you know anything about goats they have personalities much like a dog. This guy had a big personality and over the years I had built up a lot of trust with this animal. In the goat world, the more the animal trusts you, the more they will do for you. Volt and I had a built up a lot of trust and developed a great relationship.
Sunday morning I received a call saying my goats were out of the fence. I was already on my way to the farm and told that to the officer. When I arrived to the farm I filled a bucket of grain which the animals are trained to follow and hurried toward the direction of the back fence. I noticed the holes in the fence that the developer had yet to finish which gave the goats a hole to escape. This was after the developer unlawfully tore out my livestock fence which had caused my cattle to escape two years prior and replaced it with an incomplete and poorly built cedar fence.
From a distance I noticed Volt standing near a squad car with his face discolored red. As I got closer I realized he was bleeding quite profusely from the nostrils and struggling to breath. The officer noticed me and stepped out of his squad car as I continued toward Volt. I asked what he was bleeding from and the officer said" I already put three in him." I replied "you shot my goat?" The officer said "it was me or the goat." I replied "you've got to be kidding me. I have kids that regularly handle this goat." The officers replied "well, we didnt know." I added "so you shot him?"
I began to pet Volt as I regularly do to calm his nerves and let him know it would be ok. As I did this I was inspecting the damage and realized he was just going to continue suffering and directed the officers to take a kill shot and put him out of his misery. They wouldn't do it no matter how much I asked and I told them it was about shot placement. They continued to tell me their 9mm pistols were insufficient and that they were waiting on a fourth officer with a rifle. Ten agonizing minutes later the rifle arrived and I directed him where to shoot. The officer fired, Volt dropped and within 20 seconds he was dead.
The humbling part: I struggle to ask people for money but I realize that breeding season is right around the corner and I need a breeder. I will also be taking legal action toward the developer who ripped out my fence and toward the police officer who shot Volt. I never realized how much the loss of Volt could devastate the farm but it is sure showing its effects already. It is like playing a game of chess without the king. I know that the county is backed up with lawsuits so closure from a lawsuit there may take a while. The one against DR Horton (Americas #1 home builder) will be difficult as they have good lawyers and deep pockets. But they should not be able to tear peoples fencing down and create neighboring people problems because of this.
They too need to be accountable for their actions no matter how much they bribe the county. Money you donate will be used toward these three ends. Again I struggle to ask for money so if you wish to donate I do not know how I can thank you. I have been a full-time volunteer kids coach for the last six years as a way of giving back to the community. My farm regularly hosts kids and educates them on farm tasks, work ethic and how to creatively solve problems. The Farm also has disabled veterans who find therapy by regularly attending the farm and handling livestock and gardening.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
- Jonni Rice-deGroot
- Elyse Evans
- Lisa Alexander
- Shannan Christian
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