We’ve all heard the sad stories of police who shot a dog because they behaved like a dog. They’re sad, angering, and polarizing. On the one hand, dogs can be scary when they’re barking and lunging at you. On the other hand, police might be a little too trigger happy when it comes to furry companions.

But what you might not have heard is the story coming out of Crawford County, Georgia involving a man and his dog that makes you wish it were Old Yeller.


On December 1, Joe Nate Goodwin got a call from his girlfriend letting him know that his 2-year-old pitbull, Big Boy, had been killed by police. He came home to find his dog dead in his front yard. His initial chat with the deputy who shot Big Boy was amicable enough until a sheriff’s investigator arrived with questions about the dog’s vaccination records.

Goodwin was told by deputies that he needed to decapitate his dead dog in order to test for rabies or that he was going to go to jail and be charged with disorderly conduct. So, under pressure from police, Goodwin beheaded his own dog.

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After a totally understandable public outcry, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office stated that they gave Goodwin options. Like, having to pay to take the dog to the vet and tested for rabies. Mind you, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office isn’t going to pick up the tab. So, pay to have your dead dog tested for rabies, behead your own dead dog, or go to jail.

Since the graphic Facebook Live video went viral, an internal investigation has been announced to determine if the incident followed health and safety protocols. Hint: it didn’t. Goodwin, having been possibly exposed to rabies, will now have to receive a pre-exposure rabies vaccine.