By Helena Adeloju
A McGregor Road property in South Pakenham is sadly much quieter this week, with six of eight pet goats kidnapped in two brazen night-time thefts.
Overnight on Friday, 17 March four goats named Ana, Elsa, Millie and Sunday were snatched.
Two days later on Sunday, 19 March, the thieves struck again under cover of darkness, taking two more goats named Robbie and Gypsy.
Owners Jessica and Michael Woolf said their family had been deeply distressed by the thefts.
“We are devastated and heart-broken. The children are so upset, as these were beloved family pets and breeding stock,” Mrs Woolf said.
Jessica and Michael’s daughters Leah, Ella and Hannah remember the goats being born and helped to raise them.
Michael said he was shocked at the callousness of the double theft.
“I never thought someone would come and steal someone else’s animals,” he said.
Mrs Woolf said there could be no other explanation for the goats disappearing.
“They were tethered by the road to clear down the overgrown grass, so someone had to actually come and physically take them,” she said.
“Maybe someone took them to breed, or sell or sadly to eat.”
Mr Woolf said that it was of great concern if the goats were taken to be butchered for their meat.
“They had been treated with drench and five-way vaccines,” he said.
“Therefore they are not fit for consumption until after a 14-day period.”
The family have appealed to the public on the Pakenham Crime and Theft page “to keep an eye out in case neighbours suddenly turn up with goats,” “or if you hear that someone is suddenly selling goats.”
Mr Woolf said he had planned to set up a small cottage industry selling goat cheese, milk and soap, but that dream may never be a reality.
“We hate to think where they have ended up, but we are hoping for a miraculous return,” he said.
Senior Sergeant Nathan Prowd said police needed leads from the community to take their investigations further.
“If anyone has seen anyone suspicious in the area at those times, please report it to police or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.