Five goats owned by the city to eat overgrown vegetation at a south Augusta retention pond were killed or later euthanized after being attacked by dogs Tuesday morning.
The attack happened shortly before 1 a.m. after dogs dug under a fence at the Bradley Court retention pond. Three of the seven goats were killed in the attack and two others were euthanized due to their injuries, according to a news release from the city.
The dogs dug under the fence in three locations, according to the release. The dogs and any owners have not been found.
“We’re going to find those dogs that got in the pen and we’re going to hold those owners responsible,” said Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams, who added that a witness saw the dogs. “You can’t let your animal destroy property.”
This is at least the second attack by dogs of city-owned goats at a retention pond. In March 2015, three dogs got into a Mitchell Place subdivision retention pond and killed five of 13 goats.
Michael Todd Robinson, who owned two of the dogs, was sentenced to 12 months’ probation with a $1,500 fine, as well as $430 in fees and $902 in restitution for destroying city property.
City officials said this latest incident renews concerns about the goats’ safety.
“We need to figure out how to protect them,” Mayor Pro Tem Mary Davis said.
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle said ending the city’s goat program that began in 2014 is not an option.
“It’s cheaper than having to pay (subcontractors) to clean the ditches,” he said.
Staff writer Susan McCord contributed to this story.