Community shows outrage following goat killings

Published 1:12 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Last weekend, the small community on Old Stage Road was left outraged when three pet goats were found shot in their pen at Hope Afield Farm, a non-profit farm for children who need “hope, healing, and purpose.”

Hope Afield was designed to help children learn to negotiate the sometimes harsh realities of life, Ken Kilpatrick, co-owner with his wife Jan.

The Kilpatricks work to instill the core concepts of caring, kindness and love as a foundation in solid Christian values.

Email newsletter signup

This event has rocked even the youngest person involved with Hope Afield.

“We’ve had a huge outpouring. We’ve had almost 10,000 hits on our Facebook page,” Ken Kilpatrick said.

“Jan and I were out of town when this happened,”  Kilpatrick said.

They were up north in Florence picking up a couple of puppies for the farm.

When Kilpatrick and his wife arrived back from church Sunday, they noticed something in the corral.

When Kilpatrick walked out to look, he realized it was one of his goats, lying dead on the blood soaked earth.

When he went to take care of it, he realized the other goats weren’t there.

“They were all within just a few feet of where the other one was,” Kilpatrick said.

It looked like all three goats had a hole in their necks where they had been shot.

“They were pets,” Kilpatrick said. “When you came up to the fence, they’d come up to you.”

They were always looking for a little shake or a rub on the head;all they wanted was to be loved, he said.

“It looked like all of them were facing whoever it was that shot them,” Kilpatrick said.

The goats were donated by Joseph Eiland, the Butler County School Superintendent. He loves children as much as Greenville Mayor, Dexter McLendon, Kilpatrick added.

“He is always ready to help in any way he can,” Kilpatrick said.

An unidentified community member from Georgiana has offered to donate some dwarf goats to help ease the pain of the current loss.

A Luverne resident offered to give Hope Afield some sheep.

“We’ve got several people who are helping us,” Kilpatrick said.


This incident has really hurt and disappointed the children who come to Hope Afield, Kilpatrick said. But he let them play with the two new puppies and that got their minds off the sadness for a while.

Kilpatrick has turned the crime into a teaching moment for the children.

“There’s a lot of evil things in this world,” Kilpatrick said. “And sometimes it happens to good people.”

Kilpatrick told the children that they all needed to go forward now and just pray for the people who did this.

That’s the way they approach things at Hope Afield and that’s the way they plan to keep doing it.

“We plan on prosecuting to the fullest intent, “ Kilpatrick said. “Whoever does something like this is a very sick person.”

Kilpatrick believes this incident is a gateway crime to hurting humans.

With the security system that Hope Afield already had installed before the killings, Kilpatrick is hopeful that the authorities will be able to find the person or persons responsible for the killings.

“The sheriff’s department is on top of it,” Kilpatrick said. “We’re grateful for Danny and his crew.”

Detective Beth Sutley with the Butler County Sheriff’s Department is working hard on this case.

“The goats mean a lot to them and the community, because this farm helps kids. The goats were not just regular farm animals out there, they were pets,” Sutley said.

She went on to add that it’s very sad that you can’t leave your animals out in a pasture without somebody killing them.

She asked that anyone with information call the Butler County Sheriff’s Office at (334) 382- 6521.

“Just keep us in your prayers,” Kilpatrick said.