by Megan Trent
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 12, 2014) - Rural King in Muncie, a home and farm supply store, has called off a raffle that offered a live goat as the prize.
The raffle was intended to raise money for local 4-H programs, but the sight of a three month old goat named Ernie laying inside of a pen inside the store was enough to insight a heated debate about the animal's well-being on Facebook. Some defended the raffle, saying it was for a good cause. Others worried about who would take the goat home and what the future may hold for the animal.
“What if somebody buys a dog and doesn't know how to take care of it? Or a chicken and don’t know? What makes a difference from that?” asked John Fuqua, a Rural King customer who purchased five raffle tickets.
When Muncie Animal Control officials found out about the raffle, they fined the store $100 for violating a city ordinance that bans the use of live animals as prizes.
“I didn't think it was all that big a deal to be honest," says Muncie resident Mike King. "I don’t know what the problem was. That’s what I thought. So what? Why not raffle it? If it’s for a good cause, so what?”
Rural King was also given 10 days to obtain the proper permit to continue selling other live animals in the store, including chickens and rabbits. If they do not get the permit, officials say they'll face more fines.
Animal Control Director Phil Peckinpaugh says the store has been urged to refund ticket sales.
The goat has been returned to the farm he came from.