With pressure mounting, thief ditches Delta's celebrity therapy goat Toby

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Toby the goat is back at The Phoenyx Farm and Sanctuary outside Delta after being goat-napped. His caretaker was alerted close to midnight on New Year's Eve 2019.

Community pressure apparently got the goat of the thief or thieves who stole Toby from his enclosure at a Peach Bottom Township farm sanctuary.

The now-locally famous therapy goat at The Phoenyx Farm and Sanctuary was found Tuesday, Dec. 31, at an Amish farm, where the goatnappers dumped Toby after local news media and social media created a buzz about the theft.

"He's home," human caretaker Beck Bolton told The York Dispatch on New Year's Day, albeit he is a bit worse for wear. Toby is thin and has an upper respiratory infection, she said.

"It's kind of crazy," Bolton said. "Apparently when we turned up the heat (with help from) the media ... someone dumped him at an Amish farm."

That farmer doesn't have goats, but he asked his neighbor — who does keep goats — about the newly appeared animal. The neighbor farmer's son had heard about Toby being taken, which led to Bolton getting a call late Tuesday night.

Toby the goat (at left) was stolen from The Phoenyx Farm and Sanctuary on Dec. 29, 2019, his human caretaker said. He is seen here with his sister, Emmy Rose, when they were little kids.

Some goat: Toby is more than just a goat, according to Bolton — he's a friend and therapy animal to disabled and underprivileged children.

"It could've been anyone (who stole Toby)," said Bolton. She and boyfriend Anthony Martin run The Phoenyx Farm and Sanctuary outside Delta, where Toby is a permanent resident.

"All the kids who come over to visit Toby (were) just devastated that he (was) gone," Bolton said. "It's like taking a seeing-eye dog from a blind person."

Toby went missing the morning of Sunday, Dec. 29, sometime after 1:30 a.m., according to Bolton.

She made up flyers about Toby's disappearance, taping them up and handing them out to locals, she said. Bolton also spread the word effectively on Facebook, prompting dozens of people to respond and try to help.

Toby the goat was stolen from The Phoenyx Farm and Sanctuary on Dec. 29, 2019, his human caretaker said. Toby is a therapy animal and friend to a number of underprivileged and disabled children.

Priceless companion: The friendships the goat has forged with the children he meets are priceless, Bolton said — which is why she had offered a $2,000 reward for the goat's return. The farmer didn't take the money, she said Wednesday.

"He loves people," she said of Toby.

Toby's sister, Emmy Rose, is also a sanctuary resident and cried nonstop for her wayward brother during his absence, according to Bolton.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.