A Georgia couple has filed a lawsuit against the Crawford County Georgia sheriff and two deputies. The two deputies responded to a call about a dog being aggressive and biting someone. When they arrived on the scene, they shot the Pit Bull mix dead.
Joe Goodwin and Tasha Dacon filed the suit last week after their dog; Big Boy was shot and killed by deputies, who then asked them to remove the head of the dog. Deputy Wesley Neesmith killed their beloved dog after going to their home on December 1, 2017 to investigate a reported dog bite.
The lawsuit claims that fellow deputy, James Hollis then ordered Goodwin to behead the dog with a knife. The lawsuit states that “under extreme emotional duress and distress, and under threat of incarceration and physical harm, Plaintiff Goodwin was forced to decapitate the dog with a knife.”
After the beheading, Goodwin was allegedly ordered to take the animal’s head to the Crawford County Health Department to have the dog tested for rabies. Goodwin maintains that the dog was up to date on his rabies vaccination, but the deputies would not let him go inside his house to retrieve the dog’s medical records.
After decapitating Big Boy, Goodwin was too distraught to take the dog’s head to the health department, so his girlfriend, Dacon, took the head. Testing for rabies can only be done through a brain biopsy.
Goodwin filmed part of the encounter and posted it to Facebook. During one portion of the video, you can hear deputy Hollis saying, “We asked you to remove the dog’s head and you’re refusing, right?”
Goodwin claims the officers gave him a choice of doing the deed himself or calling a veterinarian. He says he couldn’t afford to have the vet do it.
Since the incident, Hollis was put on administrative leave and Neesmith resigned from his post mid-January. Sheriff Lewis Walker is also named in the suit, which is asking for $75-thousand for pain and suffering.