RAGLAND, Ala. (WIAT) — Who let the dogs out?

The answer isn’t clear, but one thing is: If Alexander Tollison’s animals, of any kind, escape his yard again, he could easily find himself behind bars, serving the remainder of his jail sentence on a conviction of allowing his goats to roam at large.

The first couple of times, it had been goats. This time, it was the dogs that caused the fuss, Tollison’s partner, Crystal Garner, said. And she’s not even sure whose dogs.

But Tollison’s neighbors in Ragland — the same neighbors who’d complained about his roaming goats — said his dogs came onto their property and attacked their dog. One neighbor even shot at a dog, according to a police report.

Tollison said he’s unsure it was even his dogs that went onto the neighbor’s property. He said anytime something goes wrong in Ragland, he feels he’s blamed. Roaming animals, though, should never lead to jail time, Tollison said.

The incident involving the dogs is the latest revelation in a St. Clair County saga.

In November, Tollison was sentenced to serve 30 days in the St. Clair County Jail for “permitting livestock to roam at large.” Tollison’s 30-day sentence had initially been suspended, according to court records, and he was placed on unsupervised probation. Soon after, he was back in custody, having — according to the court — violated the conditions of his release.

“After an ore tenus hearing,” District Court Judge Alan Furr wrote at the time, “the Court finds that the Defendant has violated his probation by allowing goats to roam at large.”

Garner said that she and Tollison had no issue with paying for any damage their goats may have caused on their neighbors’ property, but she didn’t believe there was any. Nonetheless, in a bench trial, a judge found Tollison guilty of allowing 20 goats to roam at large and gave him a suspended sentence and unsupervised probation, meaning he wouldn’t have to spend any time in jail as long as his animals were kept on his property.

At that point, Garner said they thought the ordeal was over.

“Then, the day after we got out of court, the neighbor turns around and swears out another warrant,” Garner said.

The goats, the neighbors said, had escaped again.

“They supposedly ate a flower and pumpkins,” Garner said. “I know for a fact my goats won’t eat pumpkins because I’ve tried to give them to ’em. Now flowers, I don’t know, but they can’t prove it.”

Despite Garner and Tollison’s assertions, Judge Furr sided with their neighbors, revoking Tollison’s probation on that charge and ordering that he serve his full 30-day sentence in the St. Clair County Jail.

“It’s preposterous,” Garner said. “Having to take an animal running at large — a goat at that — to a jury trial? We’re the laughingstock of the town.”

After a week in jail, Tollison was released pending an appeal of his sentence in circuit court.

But now, the incident involving the dogs has left Tollison in legal jeopardy once again. Tollison is set for a court hearing on Jan. 3 to decide whether his probation will be formally revoked over the roaming dogs.

He thinks the cases against him should be completely dismissed.

“I think they ought to dismiss all this right here and be done with this,” Tollison said.

“This is just crazy,” Garner echoed, her voice cracking. “People should know that this kind of thing really does happen, and it’s not fair.”

Monica Nakashima contributed to this story.