STOCKTON SPRINGS, Maine — Vincent van Goat, a mini Alpine that is still being bottle fed, is missing, and his owners are desperate to get him back.
The baby goat, called Vinny by his Stockton Springs family, disappeared from their Old County Road hobby farm on Tuesday. Nicole Tucker fears the 12-pound animal may have been picked up by a person who may have wanted to keep him or sell him.
“All I want is my goat back,” she said.
The goat is black, white and gray with blue eyes. He’s one of a dozen goats that live at the Tucker’s small farm. At just a few weeks old, he’s also the youngest.
“He was working his way into the herd,” she said.
Vinny would spend days outside with the other goats and nights inside with the family. He wore a diaper when he was inside, slept on the bed or couch and had bonded with the Tuckers, especially their 10-year-old son, who had named him.
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“My son is heartbroken,” she said.
Tucker does not believe that a predator, such as a fox or coyote, nabbed the goat. They have searched their property and found no evidence that he had been eaten. As well, the family’s dogs were outside when the goat vanished and likely would have fought back.
“My dogs would just go ballistic,” she said. “One of my dogs got a fox one time that was going for my chickens. We haven’t had a fox back since then.”
She worries that a motorist might have seen Vinny in the road and thought perhaps he was fair game. Her goats have made their way to the road before, and when the town of Stockton Springs had its recent Easter Bunny parade, the vehicles had to toot to get the goats out of the way.
“Maybe someone saw him wandering,” she said. “He’s really friendly.”
Time is of the essence. The family was still feeding Vinny three or four times daily from a bottle, and they are concerned that if he is still outside, he may already have perished of cold and hunger. They have reported their loss to the police, animal control and to missing animal groups on Facebook.
“I’m trying to spread the word,” Tucker said. “We miss him.”
If anyone has seen Vinny, please call 207-322-7537.