Lost sheep

Q: Once I was inspecting our cattle and I found a he-goat not belonging to our flock. I made a public announcement of it for one year but nobody came to claim it. Please, give us Fatwa (legal opinion issued by qualified Muslim scholar) showing us what to do with it.

A: It is permissible for the finder of a lost goat to take it, according to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he was asked about the lost sheep: It is yours or for your brother, or for the wolf. If someone finds a lost sheep, they should make a public announcement of it for one year in public places. After that they have the choice to sell it and keep its price or to slaughter and eat it. Then, if its owner comes and identifies its attributes, he should be given its price. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whoever finds a lost object is himself astray unless he makes a public announcement of it. (Related by Muslim in his Sahih [authentic] Book of Hadith).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.