Police: No animal cruelty crimes at state fair

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

PELHAM – Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer said an unfortunate accident was the cause of death for a petting zoo goat at the Alabama State Fair, currently set up in the parking lot of Oak Mountain Amphitheatre.

At a City Council meeting on Oct. 1, Palmer said the animal sustained fatal injuries when a larger animal rolled over it. Concerns of animal cruelty at the fair’s petting zoo arose on Sunday, Sept. 30, when a fair-goer posted on Facebook about their experience at the petting zoo.

The post stated that the animals had no food or water and a short video showed a seemingly lifeless goat with its head sitting in a food bowl. The post has garnered 124,000 views, more than 2,800 shares and 1,000 comments.

“We have fielded a number of calls at the police department regarding the petting zoo and the welfare of some animals at the fair,” Palmer said.

Palmer said callers reported that there was possible animal cruelty at the petting zoo.

“We immediately looked into the matter and deployed resources to the fair to take a look at the situation,” Palmer said. “It’s an unfortunate accident. There are several animals at the petting zoo and sadly a larger animal rolled over a smaller one.”

Palmer said officers checked on the animals for three days in a row to make sure they were not being mistreated. He said they have food, water and shelter.

On Oct. 1, the PPD also required the petting zoo operator to produce all of the veterinarian records for the animals and the records showed that the animals had been cleared by a vet on Sept. 22.

“As of right now, there is no criminal matter, but we will continue to monitor that location and any other location for animal cruelty because that is something we take seriously,” he said.