Crime

SPCA: Decapitated animals found in NE Phila.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Officials are investigating the dumping of animal carcasses on the side of the road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Officers discovered almost a dozen goats, chickens and a duck on Dutton Road near Comly Road thrown into a trash heap.

Investigators soon realized the animals had been used as religious sacrifices, possibly by those who practice Santeria, a West African and Caribbean religion.

Religious tolerance is one thing, but the Pennsylvania SPCA says it won't tolerate the dumping of ritually sacrificed and decapitated animal carcasses in communities.

Nearby residents and animal lovers were also disturbed.

"To leave it here and there's children, it's just horrible," resident Kim Fishburn said.

"Typically, you'll see materials such as coconuts; you'll see pennies with this type of sacrifice," PSPCA spokesperson George Bengal said.

The law allows the humane sacrificing of animals for some religious rituals, but the dumping of the animals is illegal.

"This is some big time sanitation violations for dumping these animals here," Bengal said.

The SPCA says religious ritualistic sacrifices are not rare in our area.

In 2009, cases started popping up at an alarming rate.

Action News reported in December of 2009 how officers discovered a graveyard of animals at a Front Street home in Feltonville.

The remains of monkeys and sheep were discovered along with an altar and buckets of dried blood.

In this most recent incident, investigators are close to finding the person responsible.

"The neighborhood is so quiet; you really don't see or hear anything like that going on at all in the neighborhood," resident Jessica Destefano said.

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Tags:
philadelphia, pennsylvania, animals, crime
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