When police found Meg the goat, they had one word for the treatment they had observed: Torture.
They claimed they discovered the black-and-white nanny goat hogtied and hitched to a backyard fence with a collar pulled so tightly around her neck that she had begun to choke. The ground around her was soaking wet, as though the family that left her there had dumped water on her.
“I just hate to think how she was feeling and all the fear and just horrible agony she was going through while she was hanging there,” Joseph’s Legacy Rescue founder Meg Melampy said last week.
Her organization took Meg the goat after police charged the animal’s former owner, Baloisa Trinidad, with animal cruelty and keeping a farm animal within city limits. Meg the goat was shy at first, Melampy said, because of the treatment she had experienced at Trinidad’s hands.
But Trinidad said she did nothing wrong and does not believe she committed a crime when handling Meg. In fact, she said, she was trying to set up a birthday surprise for her daughter.
“My daughter is 10 years old; her birthday is Sept. 29,” she said through a translator. “She asked for a goat.”
Trinidad said she did not realize she had been violating city law when she brought the goat onto her property. In her home country, the Dominican Republic, she said it was common for ordinary people to keep farm animals in relatively close proximity to their homes. As for the claims of animal abuse, she said they were exaggerated.
“If I have to pay (a fine), I’ll pay, but I didn’t think it was illegal to buy my daughter a gift,” she said.