Owner said deputy forced him to cut off dog’s head for rabies test

Owner said deputy forced him to cut off dog’s head for rabies test

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Macon Telegraph
Joe Nate Goodwin said he decapitated his 2-year-old dog at the behest of sheriff’s deputies.
  • Story Highlights
  • A man says he was forced to cut off his dog’s head.
  • A Crawford County sheriff’s deputy shot the dog Friday.
  • An investigator said the head was needed to test for rabies.

A Crawford County man says deputies forced him to decapitate his dog on Friday for a rabies test, the Macon Telegraph reported.

Joe Nate Goodwin protested cutting off his 2-year-old dog’s head and recorded much of the interaction between him and sheriff’s investigator James Hollis.

Earlier Friday, while Goodwin was at work, his dog, Big Boy, allegedly lunged at a deputy who went by the house after a neighbor reported being bitten by a dog on the property. The deputy shot Big Boy, the newspaper reported.

Goodwin’s girlfriend called him to say the dog was dead in the yard near the mailbox.

One video posted by Goodwin to social media shows Hollis threatening to take Goodwin to jail on a charge of disorderly conduct.

“We asked you to remove the dog’s head,” Hollis said. “And you’re refusing, right?”

When Hollis reacts to being filmed, Goodwin says he only wants to document the interaction.

“I’m protecting myself,” Goodwin said. “Y’all come up to me... I’m reacting to having to cut my ... dog’s head off.”

In a video taken after the decapitation, Hollis and the other officer can be heard giving instructions to Goodwin’s girlfriend.

Big Boy’s head was placed in a white plastic bag.

“She gonna place that into the bag and they got to freeze it,” Hollis said in the video. “That can be tested for rabies, OK?”

The woman took the head to the health department as instructed, crying the whole way, the Telegraph reported.

Officials confirmed to the newspaper that the sheriff’s office had opened an internal investigation.

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