Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Goat Rescue
South Florida was stunned by conditions and cruelty at a South Florida slaughter farm that was raided shortly before Thanksgiving. Now, the organization that first raised the alarm about the operation is in another fight. This time over some of the rescued animals. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case with the exclusive.
Kudo: "Very emaciated, and dehydrated."
After authorities shut down the farm, nearly 80 goats were brought to live behind this home in Okeechobee that number has dwindled.
Kudo: "Goats have been dying around four a day, some two a day, some of the goats are still dying."
Richard Cuto who goes by Kudo started the investigation that led to the raid of the Hialeah slaughter farm. His organization, the Animal Recovery Mission located sanctuaries to take in 600 animals seized at that time. Many have health issues due to conditions at the illegal slaughter farm, but for the most part all seem to be doing fine except the goats.
Kudo: "The people and the caregivers I believe did what they could, but were very overwhelmed."
An ugly war of words erupted on line.
On Facebook both Kudo and his group were attacked by other animal activists who claimed they had just dumped the goats and refused to pay for vet care. He says he did pay and eventually found an organization in Tampa that agreed to take the goats and provide medical care, yet he had trouble getting the animals.
Kudo: "It's basically been a two week process excuse after excuse."
On the first trip to pick up the goats, he says he was turned away we went with Kudo on his second trip, but we couldn't talk to the couple who had the animals, they ordered us off the property. But this time, the animals were released and taken to a group in Tampa that specializes in the care of goats.
Nanny Toler: "A lot of them have sore mouth, they have toxidia, they have pink-eye, they need more care than what they were given, so I think we can do that better."
Aussie is one of the rescued goats but this fellow will be celebrating the holidays right here in South Florida.
Kudo: "Aussie is very lucky, extremely lucky goat."
He's also evidence. This undercover video was taken by Kudo who posed as a customer buying the goat for a religious sacrifice.
Aussie's legs were tied together. He was stuffed in a grain bag and thrown into the back of kudo's truck.
Kudo: "I'm gonna get you out of here don't worry ok?"
Now he's part of Kudo's family.
Kudo: "He had just lack of trust for people, obviously for what he's been through, and now as you can see, he loves people, he won't go anywhere without, he's basically my shadow."
It would seem Aussie has seen the best and the worst of human behavior.
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