Tug-of-war between sick goat's owner and rescuer north of Auckland

A goat at the centre of a tug-of-war between two residents of the rural Auckland suburb of Dairy Flat is now in the hands of the Auckland SPCA.

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There's a tug-of-war between the goat's owner who denies neglect and rescuer Charmaine Wolmarans. Source: 1 NEWS

A local spotted 10-year-old Zeus in a paddock on Friday November 16 in what she has described as an unwell and malnourished condition. 

"He was lying on his side unable to stand up, with a wound on his side that was infested with maggots," she said.

After returning the following Monday to find the animal in a similar condition, she called the SPCA. But a day later, after no response she turned to local animal rescuer, Charmaine Wolmarans.

The SPCA says it is actively investigating the situation.

Ms Wolmarans and her family then cared for Zeus for nine days. She claims to have spent over $800 out of her own pocket to nurse the animal back to health, including vet bills and medicine.

"Zeus has been unable to stand on his own for more than an hour each day," Ms Wolmarans said. 

Her Vet James L’Aime said, "It will take some time for the goat to build up muscles again because of the poor condition its body is in."

Today SPCA officials arrived at Ms Wolmarans property to take Zeus into care where he will remain for some time. 

But Zeus’s owners have a different story. They deny the claims of negligence and say their goat was stolen from their paddock without permission. They want him returned.

In a statement to 1 NEWS they said Zeus is a well-loved family member and has never been mistreated or starved.

They claim that he was moving around his paddock and being hand fed the weekend before he was taken.

They maintain the goat’s health deteriorated the night before he was taken and they were not given the chance to help him.

It’s not known yet whether Zeus will be returned to his owners after the SPCA has got his condition up to par.