BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) – A woman in southern Alabama is facing felony charges after her neighbors say she stole their goat and dyed its hair.
“I didn’t believe it initially and then I saw the pictures and I was like, OK, it really did happen,” said Capt. Clint Cadenhead with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. “So, not every day that you get that one.”
Erica Farmer was charged with felony theft and animal cruelty after her neighbor said she stole the billy goat and dyed its coat.
She admitted to coloring the goat, but said it was all in good fun.
“This is actually the shampoo, blue shampoo and green food coloring,” according to Farmer who bonded out of the Baldwin County Jail after being arrested.
“It was a simple prank and it was harmless. I would never hurt an animal at all, ever,” she said. “I didn’t know it was the neighbor’s goat because it was always at my cousin’s house.”
Baldwin county investigators said the victim came home to find her goat missing and then saw pictures Farmer had posted on social media of her once-white goat.
Deputies arrested Farmer after finding the billy goat in her possession.
Any livestock theft in Alabama is charged as a felony, which Farmer thinks is a “little ridiculous.”
“This has basically been a neighborhood goat,” according to Farmer’s uncle Gary Mitchell. “He wanders around out here.”
Mitchell said the goat had wandered onto his property when Farmer grabbed it. He believes the charges are extreme.
“I’m shocked. I mean, like, I see no reason for it,” Mitchell said. “Billy is a fun little goat, and I know Erica ain’t gonna hurt nothing.”
Authorities said what happens next is up to the district attorney and the courts.
“I’m sorry, really I’m truly sorry like that’s just a joke gone too far, I guess,” Farmer said. “I would never hurt an animal, never go in anyone’s yard and steal anything.”
The goat’s owner didn’t want to comment on the case.