Ellsworth goat owner pleads 'not guilty' to cruelty charges
An Ellsworth Township man has pleaded not guilty to charges filed after deputies say he left his goats stuck in a fence for hours.
Robert Stare, 66, is charged with two counts of animal cruelty, as well as two previously filed charges of allowing animals to run free and damage vegetation on someone’s property.
According to a report from the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, deputies visited a home on W. Akron-Canfield Road near South Bailey Road to investigate a report that a pair of goats were stuck in an electric fence.
Deputies say they found two small goats with their heads stuck in the fence. One of the animals had wrapped its neck in the fence so much to the point of choking itself.
Deputies cut several parts of the fence to free the goats without choking them to death or harming them any further.
A neighbor told deputies this was not the first time this happened, and that during his time living in the neighborhood, he and his wife had witnessed at least 30 goats caught in the fence left unattended for several hours.
In this case, the neighbor told deputies he had heard the goats screaming for at least two hours before deciding to check on them.
According to the report, the owner of the goats, Robert Stare, was attempting to fix the fence when about 10 to 15 more goats got loose and began running around the property.
Deputies say as Stare was attempting to turn on the fence after fixing it, even more goats got stuck in it and Stare began to tug and pull on them as they screamed.
Deputies went on to say that Stare began picking up goats and throwing them in the other direction with one being thrown over a four to five-foot high fence and falling on a section of a chain link fence on the ground.
The report recounts another alleged incident in which Stare was pouring food into a bin for the goats as they trampled one another screaming for help. Deputies say when Stare's wife asked him to help the goats, he replied that he "didn't have time for that."
The report also states that Stare allegedly smacked a baby goat on the head with a PVC pipe, knocking it out for a moment. One goat was also observed with a large mass on its face.
Deputies say the goats appeared to be deprived of food, and as such are grazing in the grass and on trees eating everything in sight.
Stare, who is free on bond, is scheduled to be back before a judge later.