AIKEN - Animal control workers removed nearly 200 goats that had been living inside an Aiken man's home for nearly seven years, an official said Friday.
Carlton Cantrell, 47, called animal control officers to his Muddy Branch Road home Thursday to file a complaint after 35 of his goats died over a seven-year period, Aiken County Animal Control Director Shirley Harden said.
He told animal control officials that someone has attempted to poison the animals on several occasions by dropping nitrogen from an airplane.
He herded the goats into his home about seven years ago and had lived in his truck since that time.
Animal control workers found hay 3 feet deep, manure and urine inside the 1,200-square-foot home where the goats stayed. The goats also had gnawed away most of the walls in the house.
"In our opinion it was unsanitary and a cruel environment for the goats to be in," Ms. Harden said.
The goats were taken to the Aiken County animal shelter Thursday. One dog with a severe case of mange also was removed.
Ms. Harden said they planned to return to Mr. Cantrell's home Monday to rescue 40 other dogs with mange that also are living with him.
The goats will remain in animal control's custody until Mr. Cantrell's court date Friday.
Mr. Cantrell faces a blanket charge of animal cruelty and housing them in unsanitary conditions. Animal cruelty is punishable by a $1,027 fine or 30 days in jail.
Reach Krista Zilizi at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.