California Fair Officials Had A Goat Slaughtered to Teach A 9-Year-Old A Lesson

When Jessica Long bought a goat for her young daughter to join Shasta County District Fair’s 4-H program, she didn’t realize it would end in a series of traumatic events.

The program allows children to temporarily care for farm animals before they’re entered into an auction and sold typically for meat with the goal of teaching children about the work and care involved in raising livestock.

The problem was Long’s daughter, who happened to have tragically lost three grandparents in the last year, grew very attached to her goat Cedar. After she was auctioned off at the fair, Long couldn’t stand watching her daughter sob as she was saying goodbye to Cedar in the barn, so she decided to “break the rules and take the goat that night and deal with the consequences later.”

She then wrote a letter to the county fair’s chief executive and pleaded for them to make an exemption and let her daughter keep Cedar. She offered to pay the county fair for the goat and the expenses that she incurred. 

When she found out that Cedar had been auctioned off to state Sen. Brian Dahle, she reached out to his office and offered to repay the winning bid of $902, to which the state senator’s office responded by saying that he was “okay with the alternative solution of the goat getting to be donated to a farm that does weed abatement.”

But the county fair was having none of it and instead sent deputies out on a 500-mile drive across Northern California with a search warrant to hunt down Cedar and have the goat slaughtered. And by “hunt down,” we mean the warrant gave deputies the permission to “utilize breaching equipment to force open doorway(s), entry doors, exit doors, and locked containers” and to search all rooms, garages and “storage rooms, and outbuildings of any kind large enough to accommodate a small goat,” according to a report by the LA Times.

“Making an exception for you will only teach [our] youth that they do not have to abide by the rules,” the fair’s chief executive Melanie Silva responded to Long in an email. “Also, in this era of social media this has been a negative experience for the fairgrounds as this has been all over Facebook and Instagram.”

Long has since filed a federal lawsuit against Shasta County District Fair, accusing them of “egregious waste of police resources.” She also alleges that the county fair violated her and her daughter’s 4th Amendment and 14th Amendment rights which protects them from unreasonable searches and seizures, and being deprived of due process. 

Information for this briefing was found via Twitter, LA Times, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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