Last month, goat and sheep farmer Bob Johnson awoke to find five animals missing from his property.
Johnson believes that someone came to his property on Johnson Hill Road in Boggs Township, near Yarnell, sometime through the night of April 10 into the morning of April 11 and took four baby goats. Also gone was a six-month old white Great Pyrenees puppy named Lily.
Missing animals are a problem that Johnson said he has faced before, and he suspects that kids have previously been abducted from the farm, but he never called the police about them. Stealing the dog really upset himthis time though, and he called state police at Rockview. Lily cost $500, and he intended to use her as a guard dog for his animals.
“It really upset me with the dog because that’s gonna cost me a lot of money,” Johnson said.
Besides the cost to buy the dog, not having her present could have residual effects, Johnson said. He keeps between 400-500 head of sheep and goats and some beef cattle on his property, and he needs animals to protect them from coyotes. Coyotes often prey on his animals: two lambs were killed Wednesday night, he said.
He has a donkey he uses for that purpose, but he said dogs do a better job.
The four goats he believes were taken could have also fetched about $400 apiece at New Holland, where he takes his animals to sell, if they were raised to adulthood
Johnson said he doesn’t believe the animals could have just wondered off because they would have turned up by now, and they would have been easy to take because the animals were tame and friendly toward people.
State police at Rockview are investigating the incident and treating it as a theft. Anyone with further information can contact the Rockview barracks at 355-7545.
Johnson said he is also offering a reward to anyone with information that leads to the return of the dog.