CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. – Two Fort Plain men were arrested in connection to the alleged theft of show goats from a Canajoharie farm.
Brandon Hume, 21, and Michael Sumner, 26, were both arrested and charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree and Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree. Both were arraigned at the Town of Canajoharie Court and remanded to the Montgomery county Correctional Facility in lieu of cash bail or bond.
Early Tuesday morning, farmer Marigrace Hoag found the locks on the pens and sheds of her LoveKnot farm had been busted and a fence had been cut through. One goat was found in another pen, but the other 20 were missing.
“Most of the goats that were taken, I delivered,” she said. “Like, I’ve been there since their first breath.”
The goats weren’t just livestock to Hoag and her family. They were beloved family pets. Authorities said Hume and Sumner saw an ad on Craigslist for an animal wholesaler in Endicott, New York offering money for goats. That’s when they decided to steal them.
“Just financial. Just looking to make some money,” Sgt. Jason Nare with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said. “They weren’t trying to hurt the animals. We don’t believe the animals were injured.”
Hoag said a few of the younger goats are sick, and all of them are skittish. The veterinarian bill will likely be hundreds of dollars. But the goats were recovered because the wholesaler was a good guy.
Authorities said the man paid $1,400 for the goats, but he saw a posting on Facebook about the missing animals and came forward. He offered to give the goats back. Police said he should get restitution, but it’s not a guarantee.
Hoag is glad she got her animals back but the ordeal has left a mark.
“I usually let my two older ones come outside and play on the swing set by the house by themselves,” she said. “That won’t be happening.”