By Dustin Kass | firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 12:05 am |
James Prusi never thought a pair of phone calls Friday about a live, spray-painted goat in a customer's trunk would thrust him and his co-workers at Tires Plus into the national spotlight.
Little did he know.
Just days after calling animal control, which seized the animal, news outlets from across the country jumped on the story of the bound, purple-and-gold alpine goat with the number of new Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre shaved into its sides.
The New York Times, USA Today and The Boston Globe, as well as newspapers from Sacramento to Miami, printed the story of the goat - now named Brett - and area television crews swarmed the shop Monday.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals even referenced it in a Twitter post, calling for animal cruelty charges against the "Brett Favre goat woman."
That kind of exposure never came to mind when Prusi called the Daily News.
"I thought I'd just get the locals a kick," by telling the story, he said. "The main reason we called (animal control) was for the well-being of the goat."
Tires Plus employees called animal control Friday after two customers stopped in to have a belt replaced and mentioned they had a goat, which they planned to slaughter, in the trunk of their car.
That call may also lead to misdemeanor charges.
Assistant City Attorney Brian Glodosky said he plans to charge Janelle Riopel, 21, of St. Paul and Sonny Yang, 24, of La Crosse, Wis., with overworking or mistreating animals and cruelty in transportation.
A message left for Riopel was not returned Tuesday, and attempts to reach Yang were unsuccessful.
In an interview with Milwaukee radio station, Riopel said she and her boyfriend picked up the goat at a Wisconsin farm and planned to eat it. She said the animal was already painted and shaved when they received it.
But Brett is not a meat goat, said animal control officer Wendy Peterson.
Life at Tires Plus has been hectic since the incident, said store manager Dave Hanner.
Prusi said he's already gotten his fill of his name in print and his face on newscasts.
Hanner and Prusi have given interviews to radio stations in Milwaukee, Chicago, Rochester, N.Y., and even Canada.
"It's all been very positive," Hanner said. "Any publicity for the store is good publicity."
Hammer said they've also received dozens of calls from people thanking them for saving the goat - including one from a New York actress. A local woman even dropped off doughnuts Saturday morning.
"I feel good about what we did," Hanner said. "It is a unique story, and it's something out of the norm."
Reporter Nolan Rosenkrans contributed to this report.