A Doncaster woman has been reunited with her trio of pet baby goats – but was forced to pay a £250 ransom for their return.
Earlier today, we revealed how Jade Marsh and her autistic sister Caitlin had been left heartbroken after the pet pygmy goats – Elliot, Eugene and Henry – were snatched from the garden of the family home in Bentley overnight.
But the animals are now safely back home after their ordeal – but Mrs Marsh has revealed how she had to pay out £250 to get them back.
She said: “After the publicity asking for them back, I got a call from a withheld number asking if there was a reward.
“I said there was and it was £100 but the guy wanted £250. I just wanted them back so I had no choice but to pay it.
“It was terrifying but they are beloved pets and it was either that or god knows what would have happened to them.”
The trio were taken from the house in Cawdor Street, Bentley, last night and Mrs Marsh said the animals are therapy pets for her autistic sister Caitlin, 16, who was left in floods of tears by the theft.
“She is autistic and struggles at interacting with people and going out so the goats are a lifeline for her,” she said.
Jade handed over the cash at Bentley pit top after the man who had called her promised to hand back the goats – in return for a ransom.
“It’s not ideal, but we just wanted them home,” she added.
“They had ropes around their necks and although they are a bit quiet and settling back in, they don’t seem too bad or worse the wear for their ordeal.
“They rushed straight for food when they got back home so they were obviously very hungry.”
Mrs Marsh said that she had gone out to feed the goats, which are about 18 weeks old, at about 9pm last night and when she went out to tend to them at 6am this morning, discovered that they were missing.
She says the thieves smashed a fence panel to take the goats from her back garden, which backs onto nearby allotments.
She offered the reward after being told by police that they would not be able to attend to the theft for five days.
“I didn’t think I had much choice,” she said. “I didn’t want to have to pay a ransom but I’m just happy they are back home.”
“The story I was told by the guy didn’t seem very plausible about how he’d got them, but I just wanted to get them back.”
She is now planning to beef up security at her home – and said that the goats will be kept inside tonight and for the near future.