This was an act of kindness that was recognized in the West Virginia newspapers.
By Gary A. Harki
The 4-year-old who lost his pet pygmy goat after police found it dead in his neighbor’s bedroom now has a new goat, thanks to two New Yorkers originally from West Virginia.
Mark Taunquin and his wife, Laura Schmidt, read the news story and contacted the Gazette about getting in touch with Lisa Powers and her grandson, Morgan Powers.
“We thought about how funny and wonderful it would be to grow up with a pet pygmy goat and how awful it’d be to lose it in such a senseless and cruel manner,” Taunquin wrote in an email.
“So instead of being bummed out about it, we decided to give the family the money to buy another one. We just hope Lisa’s grandson has as much fun with his new goat as he did with Bailey.”
Mark Thompson, 19, of Greenview Road, is charged with animal cruelty after police got a call from the Powers family claiming he stole their goat, which was named Bailey after a female character on the Disney Channel television show “The Suite Life on Deck,” at about 3:15 a.m. on May 2.
When police came to look for clues as to how the boy’s goat ended up dead in his neighbor’s bedroom, Lisa Powers said she knew she couldn’t tell him what happened.
Lisa Powers said she was very grateful for the $150 sent by Taunquin and Schmidt for the new goat.
“My grandson was heartbroken when the little one was gone,” she said of the goat. “We started calling around … It was really hard to find a goat.”
But by Saturday, the Powers family had found Trixie, their new pygmy goat that they bought from a farm in Putnam County. It was already named and fully grown, Lisa Powers said.
“He’s a little afraid of her sometimes. He’s not sure about her horns,” Lisa Powers said of her grandson.
On Monday at the family’s farm near Alum Creek, Morgan Powers fed the goat and talked about how he thinks it got its name.
“They call it Trixie because it trips you all the time,” he said.
Taunquin and Schmidt, who now live in Brooklyn, both have family in the Charleston area.
“I realize that won’t resolve the trauma they’ve suffered, but it really breaks our hearts that this kid lost a pet and all everyone seems to be focusing on is the dark absurdity of Mark Thompson’s grotesque crime,” Taunquin said.
Prosecutors are still looking into Thompson’s actions with the goat, said Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants.
A preliminary hearing in the case was postponed at Thompson’s lawyer’s request so that Thompson can have a psychological evaluation, Plants said.
Thompson remains in jail on a $50,000 surety bond.
Powers’ nephew, Joshua Pollis, and two women went to Thompson’s house on May 2 after getting a call that he had the goat. They say they found him wearing a bra and panties, standing over the dead goat with his pants down and blood all over the floor.
When police entered the house after being called to the scene, they found fresh blood near the front door of the bedroom and in Thompson’s bedroom. Inside the bedroom police found the small gray-and-white goat wearing a pink collar lying dead on the floor, blood coming from its neck, according to the criminal complaint filed against Thompson in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. There was a pornographic magazine photo laying a few feet from the goat, according to the complaint.
Thompson was found several hours later after police searched the house and the surrounding woods.
Thompson allegedly told police he was high on bath salts, a synthetic drug that mimics the symptoms of cocaine and can cause hallucinations, for about three days. The goat was taken to a veterinarian for a necropsy.
Plants declined to disclose the results of the goat’s examination.
“At this point all possible charges are being investigated, including larceny of a goat and animal cruelty for sexual assault,” Plants said.
Lisa Powers said she’s very thankful to the police, Taunquin and Schmidt, and everyone who helped the family since Bailey was killed.
“There’s still kindness in this world,” she said.
Reach Gary Harki at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5163.