CERES, Calif. (KTXL) — A high school student’s goat is now back after the animal had been reported stolen from the Central Valley High School’s farm.
After a stressful 24 hours, Bella the goat was back in her pen and back with her dedicated student caretaker, Arianna Gutierrez.
“I was worried that they weren’t feeding her properly, giving her water. If they fed her something poisonous, I wasn’t really sure. And I was just scared for her,” Gutierrez told FOX40.
Gutierrez said sometime Sunday night, the school’s surveillance cameras caught a group stealing the 10-month-old goat.
“Like, I spent so much of my time and my effort into them, I want to make sure they’re OK,” Gutierrez said. “And to have them taken away like that, it’s truly heartbreaking and it’s frustrating.”
“It’s really troubling that our youth in our area would think that this was something that’s OK to do,” said Central Valley agricultural teacher Ken Moncrief.
Moncrief said the Ceres Unified School District worked to raise awareness of the kidnapping.
Hours later, Bella was returned but the culprits were nowhere to be found.
“They tried to right a wrong,” Moncrief said. “They did make an attempt to fix what they’ve done.”
Gutierrez said Bella was hungry, thirsty and limping.
“They don’t know what’s happened to her,” she explained.
The Central Valley student said she and her goat have been through a lot.
“She’s been attacked by a dog recently, so she’s still a little stressed out from that and then having this,” she said. “These people come in and take her is even more stressful for her.”
This was not the first time an animal has been stolen from the school. Within the last year, there have been three separate thefts.
Last December, Gutierrez said another one of her goats had been stolen and it was never returned.
Since then, teachers have had cameras installed.
Gutierrez said despite her “sassy” goat’s ordeal, Bella will make a full recovery.
“To me, it felt like she was good to be back too because she was playing with her pen-mates and they were just having a blast,” she told FOX40.
Officials are still working to identify Bella’s thieves.