DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Dan and Cindy Hall arrived home to their farm Friday evening and knew, almost immediately, something was wrong.
The deafening silence was the giveaway. Usually the Dinwiddie couple is greeted by the sound of their animals, but on this night they discovered a slaughter.
For more than a decade, their Mardelian Farm on Boydton Plank Road has a been a sanctuary for the family's goats, chickens, ducks, horses and various other animals. The goats provide Cindy with a business opportunity making products with goat's milk. But when the Halls came home Friday night, they found four of their goats had been killed.
Among the dead, a mother goat whose twin kids must now be bottle fed. Two other goats drowned in a pond, trying to escape the attack.
"We [also] have eight injured goats and one ram sheep injured," Cindy said.
Animal Control investigators don't believe a person came onto the farm and killed the animals.
"Is it companion dogs doing this? Is it something wild?" Alvin Langley, with Dinwiddie Animal Control, said. "Looking at it, looks not to be wildlife because none of them were actually eaten, they were just killed."
Langley says the animals had similar puncture wounds, no rips or tears.
"It did not eat any of the animals," Cindy Hall said in agreement. "It was more like a sport."
She said she managed to bandage up the injured animals who are, for now, kept locked up and under a watchful eye.
"We had to move everybody around to different places to assure they're under lock right now, until we work this out," she said.
In a bizarre twist, Saturday night the Halls called the sheriff's office after they spotted people near the property on all terrain vehicles with flashlights.
Last year the Halls said they found a dog attacking one of their goats. That dog's owner was taken to court and found guilty of negligence and ordered to pay restitution.