REDDING, Calif. (KGO) — A mother is suing after officers traveled more than 500 miles round trip from Shasta County to the Bay Area to seize and ‘illegally’ slaughter a goat that was the subject of a custody dispute between the family and Shasta District Fair.
Cedar the goat has become a beloved addition to the family of Jessica Long, whose daughter – referred to in court documents as ‘EL’ – grew attached to the animal after months of raising it as part of the 4-H youth program.
Cedar was to be auctioned off for slaughter at the Shasta District Fair in June, along with other program participants. However, when the day came for EL to part ways with Cedar, she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
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The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Advancing Law for Animals reads: “Prior to the start of the auction, the plaintiffs sought to terminate their participation in the junior portion of the fair’s livestock auction. However, representatives of the Shasta Fair Association have refused to allow this, simply telling plaintiffs that the existing fair rules prohibit it According to reports and beliefs, there are no such legally enforceable rules that would have prevented plaintiffs from terminating their participation in the livestock auction.
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The group of lawyers said Cedar was purchased in April and legally owned by EL Long offered to pay damages to the Shasta Fair Association, which allegedly received about $63 from the sale of Cedar’s meat.
As a precaution, the family removed Cedar from the scene and moved him to a farm in Sonoma County for safekeeping. Long even sought out the original bidder, California State Senator Brian Dahle, who waived his claim to Cedar.
This prompted representatives of the Shasta Fair Association to involve law enforcement and attempt to charge Long with grand larceny.
After obtaining a warrant to search and seize Cedar under “probable cause” at a farm in Napa County, Shasta County Lt. Jerry Fernandez and Detective Jacob Duncan drove there to obtain the goat, which was not was not found at the scene. The two were then directed to Cedar’s location in Sonoma County, where they allegedly seized him without a warrant.
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Cedar was then sent to be shot shortly thereafter.
Advancing Law for Animals goes on to say, “In performing the acts complained of by plaintiffs, defendants deliberately, intentionally, or recklessly violated plaintiffs’ civil rights. Their actions were willful, gratuitous, malicious, and oppressive and, therefore, the plaintiffs are entitled to punitive damages.”
Read the full complaint below:
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