Sheriff Responds To Man Allegedly Ordered To Cut His Dog's Head Off

Investigator James Hollis ordered the dog's owner Joe Nate Goodwin to cut his dog's head off for rabies testing.

Crawford County, GA - After a man chose to cut his dog's head off for rabies testing, rather than have a professional do it, a Crawford County Investigator is being investigated for allegedly ensuring that he followed-through on his choice.

The incident occurred Friday evening, Dec. 1, at the residence of Joe Nate Goodwin.

A Crawford County deputy stopped by to investigate a neighbor being bit by Goodwin's dog.

Goodwin said that his two-year-old dog, Big Boy, had lunged at the deputy, who fatally shot the dog near his mailbox in self defense. Goodwin said his girlfriend called him and told him Big Boy had been shot.

Goodwin told The Telegraph “I left work and went straight home, found my dog dead in my yard."

He talked with the deputy who shot his dog when he got home, and said they talked about mutual interests. Goodwin said there were no problems until Crawford County Investigator James Hollis showed up with questions about his dog's vaccination records.

Investigator Hollis told Goodwin that the dog needed to be tested for rabies and they called the Crawford County Health Department. The health department explained that the dog's head needed to be removed to be tested for rabies, and they gave Goodwin the option of having the procedure be completed by a vet, or cutting the dog's head off himself.

Goodwin allegedly said that he couldn't afford to call a vet because it was Christmas, he had three children, and money was tight, and he opted to cut the dog's head off himself.

At some point, Goodwin allegedly started screaming profanities at the police and calling them names. Investigator Hollis then allegedly grabbed Goodwin and threatened to arrest him for disorderly conduct if he didn't calm down.

What happened next was partially captured in a short series of videos that Goodwin took and posted to Facebook. The videos have since been removed, but a copy of part of the interaction (with no gore) has been hosted on an anti-police page and can be seen here:

Investigator Hollis then allegedly tried to enforce having Goodwin follow-through with getting the dog tested, saying, "We asked you to remove the dog’s head. And you’re refusing, right?”

Hundreds of calls were made to the CCSO after the videos were shared on social media.

Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker said that his deputies should not have been involved in enforcing the testing, which is the responsibility of the Health Department, according to WMAZ.

He confirmed that the dog had charged at a deputy when he arrived, and that "the deputy used his service weapon to put the dog down."

Sheriff Walker also confirmed that Investigator Hollis was present and that it is standard protocol to contact the health department in these situations but that that they are investigating what happened next.

Sheriff Walker said, "We would not transfer an animal in that situation. That’s up to the health department. We would respond, and we would notify them." He said that the county health department should have been present and handled any rabies testing.

Sheriff Walker added, “That shouldn't have been done on the scene, from what I gathered."

Investigator Hollis has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation.

Police said that they had been called to Goodwin's residence on at least five occasions since 2015, all for dogs and dog bites.

Do you think that Investigator Hollis should face discipline for what happened? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.

Looks wrong all around. Seems to me that the investigator should have known he was getting involved in something outside of his area of responsibility, but the owner's the one who chose to cut the dog's head off because he didn't want to pay.

Actually it's up the local Animal Control. Not the Health Department. This is my field; I speak with real authority on THIS topic. Animal Control takes the dead animal, THEY decapitate it and THEY pack the head with dry ice and send it to Austin for the dog's brain to be tested for Rabies. The Health Department only has to do with PEOPLE getting bitten by possibly rabid bats, skunks, dogs, etc. they are not responsible in any way for the animals themselves.

Hmmm 3 kids and a stranger walks up and the owners dog lunges at him. I would expect any loyal dog to do the same.

DeafGuy. That's policy where you work. Doesn't mean it's the same policy across the entire country.

Vicious pit bulls dead. Deputy likely saved the 3 kids from a future mauling from the "family pet". Pit bulls will kill you. See the movie Bullet Head.

DeafGuy this is also how it's done in the county I live in. I too speak from the knowledge as I worked as an animal control officer for a number of years and in the county shelter. We too would transport the body to the shelter where staff would prepare the dog for testing. I can't imagine how the owner felt in having to do this.

Balmy any dog can kill you. Funny that you use a movie for an example. perhaps you would be better served reading real news on animal attacks. Just a tidbit of info Labrador retrievers are also a top bite dog. A lot of bites may go unreported due to it being the family pet that isn't a pit bull. Fact of the matter is the dog charged at someone and was killed. That wasn't the issue here,it's a public safety issue with be heading the dog in a public setting by the owner. This is just a sad/bad situation all the way around.