Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17392
Classification: Theft, Mutilation/Torture, Beating
Animal: goat
More cases in Lancaster County, NE
More cases in NE
Login to Watch this Case

New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!


Attorneys/Judges
Judge(s): Gale Pokorny


For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.



Monday, Jun 28, 2010

County: Lancaster

Disposition: Convicted

Defendants/Suspects:
» Jeremiah Paulsen
» Dustin Laschanzky
» Austin M. Klaus - Alleged
» 17 year old

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Lily the fainting goat got her bandages taken off and stitches removed Wednesday, the last physical sign of her snatching.

Jody Workman, her owner, held her by her horns, trying to get her pet through the irritation.

But Lily still let out a few bleats to let everyone know at South Ridge Animal Clinic -- human and pets alike -- she wasn't happy.

Who could blame her.

Two weeks earlier, sheriff's deputies recovered Lily (whose full name is "Way To Me Lily") after a two-week kidnapping.

She had been left in a building with no food. Three or four days earlier her ear had been cut in three strips, causing it to curl up like ribbons.

"We just really didn't know if she was going to be able to keep her ear or not," said Virginia Donovan, her veterinarian.

It was the most severe laceration she had seen in 17 years in practice.

But it's healed really nicely, she said, after seeing underneath the bandages.

Four kids (the two-legged kind) have gotten tickets for theft for plucking her out of her pen near Bennet on June 28.

Prosecutors have not yet filed charges.

But Austin Klaus, 22, Dustin Laschanzky, 18, Jeremiah Paulsen, 21, and a 17-year-old girl (who isn't being named because of her age) are set to go to court in August.

Deputies suspect they cut her ear trying to get her ID eartag off.

Workman said it started June 28 at 5:30 a.m., when her husband, Terry, discovered one of their fainting goats missing.

"After searching high and low for the goat, I found a s/m Captain America baseball cap by the barnyard gate that the thief left behind," she wrote in e-mail.

And an empty Bud Light can.

With that, Workman said, they concluded that a two-legged predator had stolen their goat of a rare breed, the kind with a genetic condition that causes it to lock up and fall over when startled.

She reported Lily stolen, put up fliers and placed ads. Her friend and fellow fainting goat lover, Jen Schurman, offered a $50 reward on craigslist. It was what led to Lily.

The next day, Schurman was contacted by someone with a lead. A Cortland girl had posted to Facebook on June 27 at 11:53 p.m. via Mobile Web: "We did not just steal a goat."

Deputies followed up and rescued Lily and then Donovan saved her ear, Workman said.

The vet bill was $724.80.

She said the young adults might consider a misdemeanor theft charge laughable and a small price to pay for drunken fun.

But Workman thinks it is important this sends a message that crime doesn't pay, that there is a penalty to be paid for the theft of a pet and that animal neglect and cruelty will not be tolerated.

In her rhinestone-studded collar, Lily almost hugs the door as she waits to get in the Honda CRV and back home.

"She's over the worst," Workman said. "She's in good shape now."


Case Updates

Terry and Jody Workman knew their fainting goat, Lily, was in bad shape when they got her back after her abduction last summer.

She was thin, and one of her ears was torn to ribbons and curled. She needed 40 stitches.

But Thursday, in a second-floor courtroom, they learned from a Lancaster County judge that it was worse than they had dreamed.

At the end of the hearing, Jeremiah Paulsen, 22, of Roca, and Dustin Laschanzky, 19, of Lincoln, went to jail for six months.

First, they stood in front of the judge.

Paulsen said June 27 was a drunken night and they made a dumb decision.

"It was very stupid what we did," said Laschanzky, who apologized and paid $350 toward veterinary bills.

Paulsen and Laschanzky, two of the four people responsible for the goat-napping, pleaded guilty to animal neglect charges.

"At some point somebody in the group decided that it would be fun to simply steal a goat," County Judge Gale Pokorny said.

They made their way through fences to nab the Workmans' pet from their acreage near Bennet.

"If this theft had ended with a return to sobriety the next morning and the safe return of the goat, anonymously or otherwise, it would be one matter," Pokorny said. "But it didn't end that way."

He said Paulsen bragged to a co-worker that he let a friend's pit bull loose on the terrorized goat, which was tied to a tree. It took two men to get the dog off the goat, but not before Lily's ear was badly mangled.

Pokorny said Laschanzky and Paulsen did next to nothing to attend to the goat's mutilated ear, which quickly became infected, maggots feeding on the dead tissue. Grossed out, they tried to wash them away -- from a distance with a garden hose.

At one point, a teenager took out a gun and said he was going to kill the goat, but Paulsen grabbed it and hit Lily in the head with the butt of the gun instead.

At work, Pokorny said, Paulsen told a co-worker that whenever he was frustrated he would walk out to the shed and kick or punch the goat.

What started as a drunken theft, the judge said, became nothing less than the sober, gratuitous, sadistic infliction of pain and injury on an animal.

In the end, a Facebook post by a 16-year-old girl who was along the night of the goat was taken led to Lily, although it took a couple of weeks for sheriff's deputies to find and question the teenager, "sort through an array of lies and alibis," and find the goat at the farmstead near Roca rented by Laschanzky and Paulsen, the judge said.

The girl is on probation in juvenile court for her part, and a warrant has been issued for Austin Klaus, the fourth person authorities think was involved.

Outside the courtroom, Jody Workman said it was a little hard to hear everything the timid, gentle pet her family loves had been through. It's kind of like taking advantage of a child, she said.

"But on the other hand she's back and her ear is healed and ... she's doing great," she said. "You would never know she went through a horrible, traumatic experience like this."

Workman said she hopes the jail sentences send a message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in Lancaster County.
Source: journalstar.com - February 10, 2011
Update posted on Feb 10, 2011 - 5:46PM 
A 19-year-old -- one of three young men accused of stealing a Bennet family's pet fainting goat in June -- pleaded guilty Thursday to animal neglect.

Dustin Laschanzky is set for sentencing Dec. 10. Jeremiah Paulsen is set to enter a plea next week; a warrant is out for the arrest of Austin Klaus, who missed a court appearance; and a 17-year-old girl is in juvenile court. It was her Facebook post that ultimately led to the goat.

Two weeks after going missing, Lily, Jody and Terry Workman's pet fainting goat, was found by sheriff's deputies in a building with no food, and her ear cut into strips in an apparent attempt to get the ID tag off.

Lily has recovered.
Source: journalstar.com - Oct 14, 2010
Update posted on Feb 10, 2011 - 5:42PM 
Two young men facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly stealing a fainting goat from her pen near Bennet on June 28 went to court Thursday.

A third has a warrant out for his arrest after missing his court appearance earlier this month.

Prosecutors charged all three -- Jeremiah Paulsen, 21, Dustin Laschanzky, 18, and Austin Klaus, 22 -- with animal cruelty, theft and second-degree criminal trespassing.

Paulsen and Laschanzky have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. Klaus had a failure to appear charge added Aug. 11, and a warrant is out for his arrest.

A 17-year-old girl, whose post on Facebook ultimately led to the pet goat, has not been charged.

After a two-week kidnapping, sheriff's deputies recovered Jody and Terry Workman's goat, Lily, in a building with no food, her ear cut in strips in an apparent attempt to get the ID tag off. Lily has recovered.
Source: journalstar.com - Aug 26, 2010
Update posted on Feb 10, 2011 - 5:40PM 

References


« More cases in Lancaster County, NE

Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.

For more information regarding classifications and usage of this database, please visit the database notes and disclaimer.