A Hillsborough woman is suing her neighbor for a goat paternity test

The neighbor says she offered to return payment if the kids were returned.
Goats at Baxter Lane Farm.
Goats at Baxter Lane Farm. [ Photo courtesy of Heather Dayner ]
Published Jun. 23, 2020|Updated Jun. 23, 2020

ODESSA — Kris Hedstrom first threatened to take her neighbor Heather Dayner to court in February if she didn’t provide DNA for a goat paternity test.

She wasn’t kidding around.

Hedstrom filed a civil lawsuit against Dayner at the end of May, asking for a refund on the goats she purchased from Dayner plus court costs and lawyer fees, or DNA to prove their lineage.

Hedstrom paid Dayner $900 for five Nigerian Dwarf goats in December — Bella, Gigi, Rosie, Zelda and Margoat.

According to the lawsuit, Hedstrom was under the impression that the goat could be registered with the American Dairy Goat Association, a group that records goat pedigrees. Registered goats have higher value than goats that are not registered.

Dayner said the father goat, Country Caprese Ace, was registered with the organization. But the American Dairy Goat Association rejected Hedstrom’s application to register the babies because Dayner is not an active member.

To prove paternity, they would need about 40 hair follicles from the father goat for a DNA test. So Hedstrom wrote a letter requesting the DNA from Dayner in February.

Dayner offered to refund the money in exchange for the goats.

At Baxter Lane Farm, Dayner has been selling goats for about 10 years. She typically provides information to her clients so they can register their animals themselves.

Dayner said Hedstrom called police on her for three months straight and has trespassed onto her farm. Documents from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office confirm that a deputy visited the property at least three times in the spring.

Dayner said the last message Hedstrom sent to her in March read, “Don’t ever contact me again.” She didn’t hear anything else until Hedstrom filed the suit in June.

Hedstrom spoke with a Tampa Bay Times reporter and provided a photo of the goats. After the reporter spoke with Dayner, Hedstrom retracted her statements and threatened legal action if a story was published.

Hedstrom bought one of the kids, Margoat, for her friend Penny Vickery of Palm Harbor. Vickery said her goat had lice and worms that required five medications a day. Margoat has made full recovery, but Vickery doesn’t have the paperwork to register her.

“I have an amazing beautiful pretty little girl, but the vet said she’s not sure she’s a purebred,” Vickery said. “I thought I was going to have the option if I wanted to breed that I could.”

Dayner plans to represent herself in court next month. She doesn’t want to spend money on a lawyer.

“Between the trespassing and the constant harassment and the police officer, she’s been a nightmare of a neighbor,” she said.