A dozen goats stolen from Ontario farm, including babies, pregnant mothers

Rob McMillan Image
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Ontario farm asking public's help recovering a dozen stolen goats
Drake's Family Farms in Ontario discovered thieves broke in overnight and stole a dozen goats, some of them pregnant or sick.

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- An Inland Empire farm is asking for the public's help after being targeted by livestock thieves who stole their goats late Monday night.

Drake Family Farms in Ontario says the thieves stole a dozen goats: seven are pregnant, one had just given birth a day earlier, one was sick after also having given birth and three were babies.

"It's just unnerving because sometimes I'm here by myself, and people are here by themselves. It's just so scary in a place you feel safe," milking supervisor Cassandra Murillo said.

Murillo believes the culprits parked their vehicle, cut the chain link fence open and made their way to the goats that were nearly 50 feet away from the street.

Surveillance video shows a vehicle's headlights pull up alongside the farm's road around 11:15 p.m. The pen that once held 12 goats was empty the next morning.

Each pregnant goat is worth more than a regular goat, valued at nearly $800, and the farm believes it could be a reason this particular pen was targeted by thieves.

"Of course it was the pen that has street access, the only pen our dogs can't get to because we have two guard dogs on the farm," Murillo said.

Employees are especially concerned about the sick goat that gave birth less than 24 hours prior to being stolen. Based on a path of flattened shrubs and white hairs scattered on the field, they think the goats were dragged out of the farm.

"You raise these goats since they were babies and see them every single day," Murillo said. "I've been here for three years, and it hurts us all to know we might never see them again."

Because the animals' ears are tattooed with specific numbers and lettering, they're hoping potential livestock buyers pay close attention.

The goats belonging to the California ranch have the sequence "3WL" printed on their right ear, not to be confused with their Utah farm livestock that have "WLN" tattooed on their ears. They are described as Saanens, alpines and Nubians with chain collars that are red or blue.

The farm is offering a $2,500 reward for anyone that helps find the goats and provides information that can lead to the conviction of the thieves.

Anyone who finds these goats with the specific characters or has any information is urged to call the Ontario Police Department at (909) 395-2001.