Connecticut officials seize dozens of goats from Redding property owner
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture seized dozens of goats from a property owner in Redding Wednesday, police confirmed.
The Department of Agriculture executed a search and seizure warrant at 147 Cross Highway in Redding just after 9 a.m.
Cross Highway from Newtown Turnpike to Sandfordtown Road was closed during the investigation, but has since reopened.
Officials say the animals will be transported to the Department of Agriculture’s rescue and rehabilitation facility located within the Department of Correction’s facility in Niantic.
The animals will be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian and will remain in the department's custody and care until the case is adjudicated in the court system.
In October 2020, the Department of Agriculture says it received a complaint about injured goats and general care issues on the property. Previous complaints about the same property date back to 2017 regarding roaming goats and the number of goats on the property.
State Animal Control and Redding Animal Control officers made numerous visits to the property and met with the property owner to further assess and resolve the situation, officials say.
Based on citizen complaints and surveillance that allegedly revealed animal welfare concerns, including mobility issues due to untrimmed hooves, excessive manure, lack of sufficient water and structures in poor condition that did not provide adequate protection from the weather, the Department of Agriculture was granted a search and seizure warrant for the goats.
Neighbors tell News 12 that the property owner, Nancy Burton, has been keeping dozens of goats for over five years.
Burton's neighbors say the goats roam freely on Burton's property and sometimes also go on to other people's property to eat and defecate.
As News 12 has reported, neighbors voiced their concerns for years about the well-being of the goats and if they were being properly cared for.
One of the goats was even hit by a car and killed.
The Department of Agriculture released a statement saying in part, "Removal of the animals is a last resort after attempting to work with the owner to voluntarily improve the standard of care. We appreciate the assistance and cooperation from the Town of Redding. As this investigation is not concluded, and is ongoing, we will limit our comments to what has transpired today."
Burton tells News 12 she was blindsided by the operation. She says she was in talks with an animal rescue farm in Harwinton to take in the goats in a few weeks.