The stray goat and great dane found together in Garland are now living apart after a Dallas County Sheriff's Department deputy took custody of the goat.
"I got a call that said, Dr. Fling, you're in violation of state law. State law says any stray livestock must be collected and impounded by the sheriff's department," said Dr. Karen Fling, veterinarian at East Lake Pet Orphanage in Dallas.
Fling told NBCDFW the county's livestock deputy brought a trailer and loaded up the goat on Tuesday.
"The goat sat in the center of the trailer and was bleating and crying," Fling described. "The great dane is a different dog. She barked all night. She's settled down now and is in pretty good spirits, but we don't know about the goat."
"The goat is in with four other goats. This little flop-eared goat has taken up with him, and they're cuddled together. The cutest little thing," described Deputy Paul Stroud. "The little one uses the big one as a pillow."
Dep. Stroud doubts the goat and great dane had even lived together before they were discovered. "I doubt these animals were together a very long time. I doubt they even have the same owner. More than likely they just buddied up," speculated Stroud.
A woman found the pair in downtown Garland back on July 1. The East Lake Pet Orphanage took them in three days later. The staff says Judy, the name given to the great dane, and the goat nicknamed Menelli by Fling's staff, have been inseparable since. Media outlets reported on the unlikely BFFs, including NBCDFW.com, and the center hoped the owners would come forward or someone would adopt the pair.
"The plot has thickened," said Fling as she recalled the events of Tuesday when Judy and Menelli were separated.
"We begged and pleaded for him (the deputy) to take the great dane, too," Fling said, but the dog is not considered livestock.
"It's a sweet great dane," said Stroud. "I doubt they'll have any problem adopting her."
Fling said the sheriff's department will keep the goat for 18 days while it conducts an owner's search. Notices will be posted in the local newspaper. If no owner comes forward, Fling said the goat will be put up for sale.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean there can't be a happy ending. Fling said after researching the law, the deputy found a clause that after 18 days with no owner, the goat can be donated to a non-profit.
"And we're a non-profit, so we hope to get her back," said Fling.
"That would have to go through commissioner's court and everything," said Stroud.