September 22 2014 Latest news:
by Ajay Nair, Reporter
Friday, August 15, 2014
Rising rural crime figures have seen a sheep and goat stolen from an animal sanctuary, it is claimed.
The Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, in Brentwood, are calling on people with information to come forward after Pamela, a Wiltshire horn ewe, and Hazel the goat went missing from their secured enclosure.
Pamela was last seen on Saturday at 8pm and was found to be missing at 8am on Sunday – three weeks after Hazel went missing.
The rural crime figures, which include animal theft, from insurer NFU Mutual, ranked Essex as the third most affected place in the UK, with crimes in 2013 estimated to have a value of £2.1million.
Hopefield office supervisor Jess Roche, 22, of Chelmsford, said: “The animals can’t get out of the enclosure by themselves so they have definitely been stolen.”
“To be honest, we have no idea why anyone would do this – it seems something quite odd to want to steal.”
The animal sanctuary, which takes care of abandoned and abused animals, believes thieves may have accessed the enclosure from the adjacent A12, where its CCTV cannot reach.
Miss Roche added: “The animals that come here come here for life and the fact that someone stole them – animals which are basically our pets – is devastating.
“It may seem silly to some, that it’s a sheep or a goat, but they’re our pets, they have their own personalities.”
The animal sanctuary, which is supported by pop star Leona Lewis, has promised to step up security with more CCTV cameras due to be installed.
Essex Police said: “We are appealing for anyone who may have any information regarding the whereabouts of the missing animals to come forward.”
Call Essex Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.