Can You Believe a Sheriff Forced a Man to Decapitate His Own Dog?

Imagine what you might do if you were ordered by a police officer to decapitate your own dog. Unfortunately, Joe Nate Goodwin doesn’t have to imagine that disturbing hypothetical because that’s something that actually happened to the Georgia resident.

Now a Care2 petition is calling on the sheriff’s inspector who pushed for this decapitation to occur to lose his job. 

Before we get any further, it’s important to set the scene: A neighbor called the police to report that they had been bit by Big Boy, Goodwin’s pit bull. When a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home, Big Boy lunged at him, and the frightened sheriff responded by shooting Big Boy dead.

As horribly sad as it is that any of this transpired in the first place, that’s not why nearly 200,000 petition signers are up in arms. Rather, it’s the events that follow that are especially outrageous.

Incidentally, Goodwin got along amicably with the first officer on the scene, despite the fact that he had just killed his dog. Then a sheriff’s investigator arrived to ask a series of aggressive questions about vaccinations.

The conversation took a turn for the morbid when the sheriff’s investigator, James Hollis, instructed Goodwin to cut off Big Boy’s head so it could be tested for things like rabies.

Though a rabies test seems warranted following a bite report, surely there is a better procedure for conducting a test than requiring the owner to cut off his own dog’s head. Nevertheless, Hollis told Goodwin to do it – on the spot – or get arrested for “disorderly conduct.”

It seems absurd, but we know Goodwin’s account of this exchange is accurate because he recorded a video of it. Goodwin was legitimately told he’d taken to jail if he didn’t take a knife to his newly deceased pet.

“I knew I had to have some way of proving this,” Goodwin later explained about the video. “I just don’t think I was supposed to be the one to remove my dog’s head the way they made me do it.”

The video also showed the officer instructed Goodwin’s crying girlfriend to put the head in a plastic bag and immediately bring it to the health department for testing. Again, there’s no way this can be official police protocol.

Take Action

It’s because of these unreasonable and unnecessary demands from Mr. Hollis that the Care2 petition calling for him to be fired is so popular. If you agree that Hollis abused his power by forcing a grieving dog owner to chop off his companion’s head, sign the petition!

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for sharing

Jess B
Jess B10 months ago

I would rather be shot than even consider hurting my pet.

Antje S
Antje S10 months ago

incredible - but it happened. Sorry for the poor dog

Ellie M
Ellie M10 months ago


John B
John B10 months ago

Petitions signed.

Belinda Lang
Belinda Lang10 months ago

James Hollis is a real jerk who should be kicked in the rear end. I am glad that Hollis had a video to show what happened. I would not have cut the dog's head off. If I were arrested for not doing so there would be a lawsuit.

Ruth S
Ruth S10 months ago


Bill E
Bill E10 months ago

This is really awful. I signed the petition.

Rita Odessa
Rita D10 months ago

The Owner sounds like an idiot who should never have anything alive. The so called policeman does not have the skills to adequately do his job and is a bully. I would have said arrest me, fill your boots MFO!!

Elaine W
Elaine W10 months ago

I signed the petition. Something very wrong with this officer.