You Got My Goat

Dear Editor:
The history of the saying “You got my goat” is accredited to owners of race horses that would put a goat in the stall with the horse, to calm the horse. The competing opponent would have someone go and steal the goat, so that the horse would not be calm prior to the race. When the person found out that his goat was stolen; and found out to whom it was that stole the goat, he would approach the thief and say to him, “You got my goat!”
In the Hamer area of Dillon County, I own some land that I had dedicated for the glory of GOD. The property has been used by churches, boy scouts, fishers, boaters, and many others. From the gate to the river property is approximately one mile. As you first enter the road, you will come to a stable area. It was built to depict the manger scene in which JESUS THE CHRIST was born. As you venture down the road, you will pass by a makeshift well in memory of the conversation JESUS had with the woman that needed peace. A little further down the road; three life size crosses, demonstrating the love that was shown by GOD when JESUS took upon HIMSELF our sins. A short distance from the crosses, you will see a lifesize tomb that is empty; after three days, JESUS rose from the dead!
But as you travel the road, you would ordinarily see goats, a donkey, and several horses roaming freely inside the fenced area. A brother-in CHRIST had given me a donkey named Betty. Betty was old and loved her crackers She was friendly to all that would come to see her. A friend keeps several horses on the property as well. Each of the animals had names and were one big family. January the first of 2018 excitement came, four baby goats where born; two of the babies were twins.
Unfortunately, January the eleventh of 2018, I opened the gate to enter the property, I could see in the field a goat lying on the ground and the two twin babies standing beside her. As I drove over to where the goat was, I could see that she was dead. Curious to what had happened; I looked around and saw all the goats laying scattered throughout; they were dead also. It looked like a war zone. Nothing had attempted to eat them, they were only bitten about the throat. This was a sad time, especially knowing that the grandchildren would be curious as to what had happened to the goats. I found most of the goats except one of the newborns, and a billy goat named Elvis.
Days prior, an elderly man nearby had numerous goats that had been killed the same way. He saw a pit bull dog kill his goats. It was evident that it was a dog that had killed my goats also because a wild animal usually doesn’t kill for the sport of it. A friend that was doing work at the front of the property told me around the time of the incident, he saw the dog that had possibly killed the goats.
A few days later Elvis, the billy goat, showed up, but wouldn’t allow you to get close to him. He was nervous, crying out constantly for the other goats; but he never got a reply. Saturday morning on February 10th of 2018, I received a call from a friend. As he and his sons came from the river to exit the gate; he noticed the billy goat named Elvis was dead. He said the dogs that had probably killed the goat were under the shelter at the manger scene. A pit bull and two smaller dogs. As I went to check on the incident, I found Betty the donkey dead also. The dogs were already gone, and a horse was missing not knowing at the time that my friend had come earlier and found one of the horses had been attacked. He took the horse to have it treated, it had been bitten about the head. When I contacted him, he told me he saw the dogs at the manger scene also. After I told him Betty the donkey was killed; he felt it was possibly the dogs that had attacked his horse.
After talking with all who saw the dogs, and the tracks around the dead animals. The pit bull dog was the main culprit in killing the animals. The same dogs attacked my brother’s dog; and would have killed it if I hadn’t scared them away. Having gathered the needed information, I decided to file a complaint with the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office.
After making this decision, I noticed two deputies parked at Little Rock. I pulled over and told the officer about the incidents. I asked if one of them would write up an incident report. As the officer was writing the report, I got the feeling that I was not doing him any favors by asking him to take the information.
After losing approximately sixteen goats, a donkey, a horse attacked, and my brother’s dog attacked; “this got my goat!”
Since the day I gave the information to the officer, I have not been contacted by anyone from the Sheriff’s office. It is now approximately one year and six months later; this has really gotten my goat!
Since my animals were killed, two more in the area had goats that were killed, and another all his chickens; and by the description given, it was the same pit bull. Through these situations it causes me to be of great concern for our county. What does a citizen have to lose to get proper justice? Are we in the days when the lawbreakers have free reign to do to you or to your property as they please without consequences?
Pit bulls roaming freely and being chained with log chains should be outlawed. It is very evident what these dogs are used for. My wife has gotten very concerned about me going to my own property without a pistol. Regardless, this is a pitiful service to the citizens that deserve better protection and service.
My goats did matter, and so did Betty the donkey; if you don’t believe it, just ask my grandchildren and others. This didn’t only get my goats, but it got Betty the donkey as well.
Now if I had pulled in the yard and shot the unfenced dangerous dog; I would be put in jail. But this vicious dog can roam freely killing fenced innocent animals, and there are no consequences.
I guess we will write this one off for the criminal, and no time lost for the Sheriff’s department.
“This really has gotten my goats, and my donkey!”
C. Ray Williamson
330 Hattie Lane
Latta, SC 29565