HOBART, Ind. - Thieves have made off with one of the stars of an animal rescue organization in Hobart, Indiana.
There is now a $1,000 reward for the safe return of Henrietta – a one-legged turkey who was stolen from Erin’s Farm over the weekend.
"She was in this kind of pen here, and she is unable to hop over the top. It’s 6 feet tall," said Erin Yanz, owner of Erin’s Farm in Hobart. "And the pen was closed."
Yanz showed FOX 32 News the cage where Henrietta, the one-legged turkey, had lived for the past two years -- until Sunday morning.
"7 AM, I came out and gone. Just vanished. Didn’t make any sense at all," Yanz said.
Erin’s Farm is a 33-acre non-profit farm animal rescue and sanctuary for pigs, goats, horses, cows, hens, roosters and turkeys -- most rescued from factory farms.
But Henrietta was a particular favorite of the hundreds of school children who visit every year because of her prosthetic leg.
Last year, one of Henrietta’s legs was amputated because of an infection.
"Every time I opened the door in the morning, even with her bad foot, she was hopping out the door, happy as can be. The happiest little animal ever."
Yanz and the volunteers who work at the farm say someone had to sneak onto the property, past a closed gate and then open the barn door to steal Henrietta. But why?
"It doesn’t make any sense," said Yanz. "She’s harmless, she’s handicapped, she’s the sweetest little thing. She doesn’t hurt anybody. It just seems personal to me."
Yanz and others believe it may have been a prank by someone offended at the idea of rescuing animals we normally eat.
"To other people it may look like she was just a turkey," said Sarah Zalewski, a farm employee. "But it’s like when somebody steals dogs out of the backyard, that’s how it is for us because they are family here."
Hobart Police have now launched an investigation into the turkey burglary, and volunteers at Erin’s Farm have raised a $1,000 reward for Henrietta’s safe return.
"If she’s returned harmless by the person who took her or some anonymous person, we will be happy to take her back and we will walk away," said Yanz.