Published: 14:11, 02 December 2021
| Updated: 16:22, 02 December 2021
A goat has been killed after a firework was thrown into its stable.
Twinkle and Belle were sleeping at their foster home in Maidstone when a thug launched the missile into their pen, setting it alight in the process.
Quickly the animals' pen filled with fire and thick smoke and the goats' foster family, who live in a small village, rushed to let them out after seeing smoke coming from the stables on their security cameras.
Once they arrived and opened the doors, Belle shot out into the yard and collapsed in the yard, but Twinkle couldn't be seen.
The family used a nearby water hose to extinguish the flames before Twinkle emerged from the fire badly scorched.
Vets from Ashford and emergency services were quickly on the scene to tend to the goats, which were suffering from bad burns and shock.
Belle and Twinkle, who are both 14 years old, were taken to Buttercups Goat Sanctuary in Boughton Monchelsea the following day where staff gave them hourly attention and medication prescribed by the vet.
Sadly, Twinkle died on Saturday, November 27 - two days after the blaze.
Sanctuary manager Gower McCarthy said: "Their heads were swollen around their eyes caused by them both running round the stables in panic in the thick smoke, colliding each time with the stable walls.
"Both animals had inhaled heavy smoke and were suffering not only from severe shock but were experiencing difficulty breathing. The vet administered pain relief and anti-inflammatory injections.
"We're meant to be a nation of animals lovers and people can do something like this, so close to Christmas as well. It's horrific."
Police are currently investigating the incident, which Gower said was caught on CCTV.
He added: "Upon inspection, the cameras revealed someone opening the stable door and throwing a large firework into the stable. The two goats had little chance and a police investigation is underway.
"We just want to warn any other goat owners in the town or county about this as we don't want to see it happen to anyone else."
Buttercups is launching an appeal to help cover the costs of the night and medical after care for Belle, together with help to cover future vet bills, which with 140 goats can amount to several thousand pounds per month.
To find out more about the goat sanctuary and its work, click here.