A Wisconsin couple has been charged with multiple counts of animal neglect and theft after allegedly allowing nearly 200 goats to die from starvation on their farm, a Wednesday report shows.
The Farm Service Agency reported numerous dead goats at the farm that the couple had reportedly taken over under an agreement with the property owner. Upon investigation, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office found only two goats alive, both severely malnourished, the report says.
“By tracking records through feed companies and things like that, it had been quite some time since they’ve actually purchased any feed,” Sheriff Reg Gill told WKOW.
A veterinarian called to the scene confirmed the prolonged starvation of the animals, reporting signs of “no flowing water for weeks.” The specialist also decided to euthanize the two surviving goats as they “did not have a single ounce of fat on their bodies,” the outlet noted. (RELATED: ‘Just Horrendous’: Authorities Find 146 Dead Dogs At Decrepit Ohio Home Allegedly Owned By Animal Rescue Founder)
A Darlington couple is facing dozens of charges after investigators say they let nearly 200 goats die in their care. https://t.co/2ZQQhq5Smi
— WKOW 27 News (@WKOW) June 22, 2023
The couple claimed that the goats received treatment for parasites, worms and pneumonia a few years ago. However, after the vet treated the animals, they continued dying, the criminal complaint reportedly states.
The couple is also accused of illicitly selling several goats, generating a profit of over $37,000. These proceeds were used for personal expenditures rather than for maintaining the farm, investigators allege. If convicted, the couple could face imprisonment.
“It’s highly unusual for us to encounter a situation where animals are left to starve to death,” the sheriff said, according to KWOW.