Five goats stolen from a Kingsburg 4-H program have been reunited with their owners.
“It’s an amazing thing. It’s a miracle,” Kristy Picquette said Monday.
Eleven goats were stolen from her friend’s yard March 7, nine of them were raised by her children for 4-H.
“I honestly lost hope this week,” she said.
But a detective with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office called her with good news.
“He goes ‘I’m sending you picture right now. I need you to get back to me right now,’ and as soon as the first picture came across I’m like, ‘That’s our goat!,” she said.
Investigators have been working overtime on this case, hitting auctions and flea markets in several counties, receiving tips from the AG community about a farm on North Avenue between Walnut and Fruit.
“As soon as we looked in we were able to identify at least five of the goats that are here as being related to the 4-H theft,” Sgt. Rob Dutrow said.
Four of the stolen goats were found earlier on, now Picquette is looking for just two more.
She said it was heartbreaking to see the condition the goats were found in. They were in small dirty cages, and did not appear to be properly cared for.
“I felt bad for the goats. I saw a goat’s horn tied up and it can’t get no food. It can only get water but the water is mucky,” Dillen Picquette her son said.
“The condition of some of the animals and some of the pens out here is concerning,” Dutrow said.
There were about a dozen goats found on the property. The sheriff’s office is checking previous cases to see if others are stolen. Dutrow said there’s a good chance they are, but it’s too early to tell. The goats have been taken off the property.
Animal control will evaluate the other animals. The owner of the farm has been arrested, his name has not been released. Investigators are looking to search two other properties and said the owners of those properties could be tied to the goat theft case.
Dutrow said there are nine seperate cases of goat theft they’re investigating, and a total 70 stolen goats worth approximately $30,000.