GREENSBORO, N.C. -- People who live off Hicone Road in Greensboro are disturbed and worried after five animals were shot and killed near a neighborhood this week.
Guilford County Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. Randy Powers said on New Year’s Day, a man found a dog dead in his backyard off Jason Road. The man did not own the dog. Powers says they are not sure who the owner was.
The next day, Thursday, members of Lebanon Baptist Church found four goats dead on their property.
Four of the church's eight goats were outside overnight and were shot and killed. One of the dead goats was floating in the church's pond.
Lebanon Baptist Ministries is just down the road from where the dead dog was found.
The goats graze in a fenced-in area behind the church and help with vegetation control.
Randy Woody works for Lebanon Baptist and said they acquired the approximately three acres of land behind the main church building about ten years ago. The goats came with that property and have become favorites to church members and kids in the nearby neighborhood ever since.
Woody and his father take care of the goats and consider them pets.
"What in the world are people thinking?" he questioned. "I know some people do evil things but to be in a populated community like this and randomly shooting animals. It makes no sense."
He came to check on the goats yesterday morning after neighbors called Woody's family with concerns the goats were not moving around like usual.
"I saw one on the ground. Then then I saw the multiples- I knew right then something wasn't right. Then when I got close to them I could see the bullet holes."
Robin Carmon lives in a neighborhood nearby and heard gunshots the night the goats were killed.
"We are around here, we have children, we want to be safe. They need to find out who killed the goats," she insisted.
Col. Powers said the person or people responsible for killing these animals will face five charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty.
The Sheriff's Office does not have any suspects and is still investigating what type of gun was used.
"They were intending to kill the animals but we don't know for what reason," he added.
Powers urged anyone with information to report it. He encouraged pet owners to be extra cautious, and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
Woody is letting the church's remaining four goats graze inside the fence during the day, but for now they will be locked up in the barn at night. "To me if they think it's a joke, it's a sick joke," he added.