Volunteers outraged after goats die at Daphne High, Baldwin County Schools responds

Baldwin County

DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) – It’s not the outcome anyone had hoped for. Two goats died on the campus of Daphne High School over the past few months. 

“The frustration is the fact that animals suffered as a result of, I would say arrogance, but it may just be overconfidence in the entire program,” said Matt McAllister.

Hela and Thor were both a part of the school’s agricultural education program where Matt McAllister and his wife Cynthia were volunteers. They allege the school’s Ag program was insufficient.

“You’ve got a goat that’s got diarrhea for four days in these kinds of temperatures and weeds that are up to my waist. Why wasn’t it moved to the barn and a fan put on,” the McAllisters‘ questioned.

The couple claims Daphne High School staff didn’t care for the animals and they weren’t feeding the goats properly, but school officials refute those allegations saying the volunteers chose not to comply with recommendations set by a veterinarian.

“In this case, the allegations are coming from volunteers who blatantly disregarded the advice of livestock and animal professionals which some could argue put those animals in danger. They also trespassed on school property several times during and after school hours. Further, the two animals in question were orphaned after their mother passed away. Her passing came after several other livestock of that same herd also passed away suddenly, and the DHS AG program was contacted to foster the siblings,” read a statement sent by the Baldwin County Public School System to WKRG News 5.

“I’d like to know who those medical professionals were,” the couple continued.

The school system moved the remaining goats to a nearby farm to avoid any further trespassing concerns. 

“Why did you let us volunteer and help for over a year when we had no stake in the game with these animals?” Matt McAllister questioned.

School officials say the couple’s statements are “factually incorrect” and they take pride in their program. 

“Often in instances of sickness or general goat care, the DHS AG program consults with veterinarians, local farmers, and animal experts. Due to the continuing challenges, including continuing trespass, that these individuals have caused the DHS Ag program, the remaining animals have been rehomed to a local farmer and rancher. We are aware of a social media post that has been made and shared many times disparaging and devaluing the hard and committed work of the DHS Ag teachers and students. We would ask everyone not to make snap judgments with what they see online and understand that there are usually two sides to every story,” the statement continued.

The couple believes county school officials don’t have the full story from DHS staff. They’re hoping they’ll agree to meet with them in the future. 

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