Ria Rumph was reunited with her stolen goats on a steep embankment far up Elk View Road.
They were skinny from a lack of food, and scared when she found them Saturday night.
The trio had been snatched in two separate thefts at Rumph’s farm at Lickman Road and South Sumas. Two had been stolen about three weeks ago now, while the third was taken in the middle of the night, on Aug. 8.
And there they were, together. The Progress had reported on the thefts last Wednesday, and soon after that, tips started coming in directly to Rumph beginning on Thursday.
“I was milking and a couple came to my farm and said they knew where my goats were,” she said. They were in someone’s yard, but when the story was published the goats disappeared.
By Saturday, there had been a few sightings up in the Ryder Lake area, so Rumph went to find them.
“They told me exactly where they were,” she says, of witnesses who reported sightings on Facebook pages. “It was a long way up there, in the forest at the clearing all the way up Elk View.”
She was thrilled to find the spot where they were.
“All three were there,” Rumph said. “So they definitely had all been at the same place. I think when it was in the paper they were dumped. They didn’t want to be caught with the stolen goats.”
They were “very skinny and scared,” she said, but when they saw her they easily managed their way to Rumph.
“I think they were happy to be found because they just followed us, they just followed us up and we had no problem getting them on the truck,” she said.
Now, the goats are back with their herd and reconnected with their own babies. She’s not sure how they’ll do after the trauma of being stolen away and then dumped in the middle of nowhere. She is surprised they didn’t get eaten by a cougar, considering the area they were in, their hungry condition, and the length of time they’d been there.
“I hope they’ll be okay,” she said. Security has also been beefed up, to help deter recurring thefts.
Rumph is especially thankful to have heard such overwhelming response from other famers and Ryder Lake residents.
“Over there they’ve had problems too,” she said of farms in the eastern hillsides.
“We’re all fed up with people who think they can just move in and take what they want,” she added. “We have to work hard every day for what we have.”
In November 2010, several goat farms were hit by thieves. Goat milk and meat are both in high demand, and a goat can fetch anywhere from $150 to $700 depending on the goat and current market conditions.