Brutal attack on goat shocks family

01:43, Jan 31 2009
WOUNDED: Wayne Trethewey soothes his family's pet goat Mordecai after the animal was attacked during a party at the weekend.

Heartless thugs held a Taranaki family's pet goat down and hacked one of its horns off with an axe in a brutal weekend attack.

Mordecai was found bloodied and dazed by owner Michelle Trethewey tethered outside their home on Auroa Rd, near Kaponga, early on Sunday morning.

"The neighbours had a huge party the night before and had been doing burn-outs up the street right next to where he was tethered," she said. "At first I thought he had been scared and gone under the bush, got caught and lost the horn - then I saw the bloody axe lying beside him," Mrs Trethewey said.

Mordecai looked like he had been held down on the ground and someone had used a lot of force to rip the horn off.

"They had an axe and looking at the horn it's not certain whether they chopped it off or just grabbed the horn and held his head, ripped it off and twisted it," husband Wayne said.

The sharemilkers' 15-year-old daughter Michaela was heartbroken when she heard what had happened.


"We have had him since I was two, it was pretty upsetting knowing someone did something like that," Michaela said.

Mr Trethewey and his family are disgusted and suspect partygoers are the perpetrators of the vicious assault.

"There were cars everywhere, there would have been 100 people at the party. They were rowdy and a lot of them looked under age. The road was left in a mess with bottles and cans everywhere." Mr Trethewey said.

Police questioned the neighbour who claims to have no knowledge of the incident.

Yesterday, Mordecai was subdued, his stub is bandaged, his eye swollen and his coat matted with dry blood.

The stub and the other horn were tied with bailing twine by the vet to stop the bleeding.

Mr Trethewey wants to find the people responsible.

"We have had him for 13 years and he was the children's pet, it has been very upsetting for them. It's a pretty horrible thing to do to the poor goat."

While Mordecai is a hardy animal, the family credits his longevity with a solid diet of fresh fruit.

"He will have bananas and apples - but we have to chop them up. Oranges also need to be chopped as he doesn't like the skin, he's very fussy," Mrs Trethewey said.

Jane Lawrence, president of South Taranaki SPCA, said ripping or cutting a goat's horn off would be excruciating for the animal.

"There is living tissue in there, people don't realise that just because the horn is hard, that there is actually nerves and tissue at the base of the horn and it really hurts them. To do something that mindless is cruelty, it really is," Mrs Lawrence said.


Taranaki Daily News