Scarborough police are investigating the shooting of a pregnant goat at a local family-owned dairy farm that has welcomed the public onto its property for decades.

In a message posted Thursday afternoon on its Facebook page, the police department said someone trespassed onto the property of Smiling Hill Farm and Hillside Lumber last weekend and killed a pregnant goat that was in a fenced-in pen.

“The killing of this goat was not an accident,” police said in the post.

Investigators said the goat, a 5-year-old Toggenburg doe named Ava, was last seen alive Saturday. Staff at Smiling Hill Farm found Ava dead during the Sunday morning feeding.

The shooting is believed to have taken place during the snowstorm that began Saturday and lasted through the night.

A member of the family that owns and operates Smiling Hill Farm issued a statement Thursday.

“Smiling Hill Farm is concerned about this type of brazen, abhorrent activity in the area,” Warren R. Knight said in the statement. “The disturbing circumstances surrounding this crime dictate that the perpetrator be identified for the safety of the greater community. The person or persons responsible may repeat or escalate similar behavior in another venue.”

Knight said the shooting occurred on the Scarborough side of the 500-acre property. He said Smiling Hill Farm is offering a $1,000 reward for tips leading to the identification and apprehension of the shooter.

Information regarding any suspicious sightings at the farm property during the early morning hours Sunday may be reported to Scarborough police Detective Sgt. Rick Rouse at 730-4310 or to animal control officer Chris Creps at 730-4318.

Smiling Hill Farm is located off Route 22, also known as County Road. It raises dairy cows and offers a wide selection of dairy products to consumers, including milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt. During the winter, the farm offers more than 25 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails. It also operates a seasonal barnyard animal exhibit.

The farm is so large that parts of it lie in Scarborough, Westbrook and Gorham. It was founded in 1720 by the Knight family and was known for years as the Knight Farm before being renamed Smiling Hill Farm in 1974.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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