WARWICK — The owners of Pennings Orchard in Warwick are tightening security after two pygmy goats were stolen from their pens two weeks ago.
The 100-acre orchard and farm are open to the public only in September and October, for apple-picking and for the public to see the goats, pigs and cows that Monica Pennings and her husband, Jack, raise.
On Sept. 7, a Saturday, the farm and orchard were busy as they usually are at this time of year, Monica Pennings said.
“That particular day, we had a customer come and steal apples,” she explained. One carload of apple-pickers packed one half-bushel of apples into a Pennings-supplied bag, but as they were driving away, Pennings said, it was discovered they had three more personal bags full of apples in their car for which they didn’t pay. At $30 per bag, that was $90 worth of produce they were trying to get for free.
“When they didn’t want to pay, I said I’d have to call the police,” she said. “There was no shame in their game; they turned around and said, ‘What about the goats, then, are they for sale, to eat them?’ I said absolutely not, and asked them to leave the farm.
“That night, the goats went missing.”
Of the dozen or so goats that live at the farm, only two are male, and those were the ones that were stolen, Monica Pennings said.
Warwick police Lt. John Rader said the Pennings did not file a police report. Monica Pennings said she called police, but that “I just wanted them to let other farms know about it, to warn them that this happened.”
She said she knows it’s too late to save the two 5-year-old pets.
“We raised them, we bottle-fed them,” she said. “We’re only open September and October; the rest of the year, these animals are simply our pets. I know I’m never going to see them again.”