California Woman Sues State Fair After Her 9-Year-Old Daughter's Pet Goat Was Sold and Barbecued


A California mother sold her young daughter's pet goat to her local county and district’s state fair for $902, but she is now suing them for slaughtering and barbecuing the animal despite her wanting to withdraw its entry for auction.

Cedar the goat and the young girl who cares for it

In April last year, Jessica Long purchased a goat she named Cedar and the animal soon became attached to her 9-year-old daughter, who took care of it every day. On June 24, 2022, Jessica decided to enter the goat into the Shasta District Fair’s junior livestock auction but later changed her mind and requested to take Cedar off the ticket after her daughter desperately wanted the animal back.

The fair denied Jessica's request and sold the goat, but Jessica brazenly stole it before it was given to the buyer. A wild goat chase then ensued, sending sheriffs hundreds of miles across the county to find and retrieve the precious pet via a search warrant. Officers eventually found Cedar and handed it to individuals who are believed to have slaughtered the animal and roasted it on a barbecue for their guests.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Jessica has lodged a federal civil rights lawsuit, demanding actual, general and punitive damages. Senator Brian Dahle, a state representative, bought Cedar for $902 at the Shasta District Fair. However, Jessica decided to steal the goat back at the last minute and 'deal with the consequences later' after seeing her daughter sob by the goat's pen at the fair.

In an email to the Shasta District Fair, Jessica wrote that her next steps after stealing the goat were to make it right with the buyer and the fairgrounds. The mother said she would pay back for the goat and any other expenses she had caused and asked the fair for their support in 'finding a solution.'

Shasta District Fair Chief Executive Officer Melanie Silva responded to Jessica's email and demanded that she brought the goat back to the Shasta District Fair immediately.

Young California girl and her pet goat Cedar

Shortly after, B.J. Mcfarlane, the livestock manager of the fair, sent Jessica a text, warning her that law enforcement would be brought in if the animal was not returned. In addition, Mcfarlane threatened to have Jessica charged with a felony count of grand theft if she did not return the goat, according to the lawsuit.

Two weeks after Jessica stole Cedar back from the fair, Jeremy Ashbee, Shasta sheriff’s Detective filed a search warrant affidavit, seeking permission to seize the stolen animal. On July 8, 2022, officers obtained a search warrant from Judge Monique McKee, that authorized them to 'use breaching equipment to force open doorways, entry doors, exit doors, and locked containers in search for the goat.

Officers then raided a farm in Napa but Cedar was not being hidden there. Instead, Cedar was being kept at a farm in Sonoma County. Officers took Cedar and drove more than 200 miles back before delivering it to an unidentified individual at the Shasta District Fair, where it's believed that Cedar was slaughtered and eaten. However, the lawsuit alleged that the warrant required officers to hold Cedar for a court hearing to determine its lawful owner.

Pet goat Cedar

Jessica Long's attorney Vanessa Shakib says she believes Cedar the goat has been killed but it hasn’t been confirmed as a factual matter. In addition, she says county and fair officials used their authority and connections 'improperly' to turn a purely civil dispute into a 'sham criminal matter.'

A petition to raise awareness about the lawsuit has been started in honor of Cedar, the beloved white goat with beautiful chocolate-colored markings.


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