California girl wanted to keep her pet goat alive after 4-H fair but county killed it anyway

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When Jessica Long’s family purchased a baby goat at four-months of age and took it to their home in Shasta County, their young daughter fell in love with the adorable little one and named him Cedar. The two bonded as if the baby goat had been a puppy, and Cedar became a family pet.

The youngster had been enrolled in the local 4-H youth program and in June the girl took her beloved pet goat to be shown at the Shasta District Fair livestock auction. Even before the auction began, the family decided this wasn’t for them and tried to back out, but officials said the rules prohibited that, and the goat had to be put up for auction.

When the sale was over, the little girl wouldn’t leave Cedar and when she found out the goat was destined for slaughter, she cried in his pen. Her mother was so upset she offered to pay for any losses that might have been incurred to save Cedar’s life and brought the baby goat home.

B.J Macfarlane, the fair’s director refused, threatened the family with a grand theft charge and then moved the goat to a farm in Sonoma because it was feared saving Cedar would have become a “point of controversy” even though the goat’s family lived in an agricultural community.

Brian Dahle, the Republican candidate for governor, had purchased the baby goat for meat at the price of $902. Long reached out to Sen, Dahle’s representatives who stated he would not resist Mrs. Long’s efforts to save Cedar from slaughter. She also explained how her young daughter had lost three of her grandparents this past year and the thought of more heartbreak knowing that this goat her daughter loved so much would be slaughtered, would be devastating for the child.

According to KrcrNews, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office became involved, and two deputies left their jurisdiction and drove more than 500 miles at taxpayer expense to confiscate a little girl’s goat after the girl decided she didn’t want Cedar auctioned off.

Sadly, Cedar was slaughtered; the young girl cried her eyes out and really didn’t understand how anyone could be so mean as to just take her goat, after the man who purchased the animal, agreed to sell her back?

A lawsuit initiated by Advancing Law for Animals has been filed against the Shasta County Sheriff’s Deputies for violating the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments by driving more than 500 miles to seize a goat named Cedar and deliver him to be slaughtered. According to the filings, the young girl who owned the goat, exercised her legal right to withdraw her goat from a youth livestock auction, and even though the girl and her mom retained ownership of Cedar and offered to compensate the Shasta County Fair for any loss, the fair’s director threatened them with a felony charge of grand theft.

At the behest of the Shasta County Fair, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Deputies unreasonably searched for and unreasonably seized Cedar, without a warrant, despite notice of Plaintiffs’ civil contract dispute and continued assertions of ownership of Cedar. Although Defendants were required by law to retain Cedar, they instead turned him over to unknown third parties for slaughter. The lawsuit alleges Defendants improperly determined ownership of Cedar without judicial authorization and without affording Plaintiffs any notice and opportunity for hearing, in violation of the U.S. Constitution and California state law.

“The police aren’t judges. They don’t get to decide when a young, powerless child no longer owns her animal. The Constitution says she gets a hearing,” stated Ryan Gordon, attorney for Plaintiffs and co-director of Advancing Law for Animals.

Advancing Law for Animals

Plaintiffs are represented by Advancing Law for Animals and the Law Offices of Daniel J. Kolde. Advancing Law for Animals is a California-based, nonprofit law firm that specializes in complex and novel issues of animal law.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This is so sad. I backed out of 4H when I was in school because I could not bear to raise a calf and sell it at auction for slaughter. I knew @ 10 years old that I was destined for growing a veggie garden, making preserves, sewing and quilting…….

    I am so sorry for Cedar and the Long family. The Fair Director and the police acted wrongly in trampling the Civil Rights of the Long family. I hope a judge grants the Long family justice for Cedar.

  2. Why didn’t BRIAN DAHLE DO MORE??? He’s a govenor candidate for republicans and he is the one that bid the 902 dollars. He didn’t do enough to help.

  3. How horrible and mean! Freaking cops just love killing defenseless animals it’s what they do! Cops don’t get involved in civil matters and that’s what this was. I HATE 4-H. When the person who legally bought it agreed to sell Cedar back to the little girl the matter was over!!! I hope the cops, the county and B.J Macfarlane pay thru the nose for being b*stards! RIP poor Cedar. 🙁

  4. What kind of organization does this to a child? I highly doubt the girl would have taken her goat there had she known they were going to kill her pet. I fail to see what harm would have been done had they just cancelled the auction. Now a child is heartbroken and has been taught a lesson of how unfair and harsh the world can be. They should be ashamed of themselves!

  5. Why is there so much cruelty in the world.? What was the reason for not allowing this little girl to keep her goat.? To teach her a lesson? The lesson learned was that every where in the world there are ignorant people!

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