Sacramento Animal Control officers have a new case animal mutilation. But this time, they have surveillance video to help catch the person leaving the animals.
Saturday, at around 6:30 pm, a passersby reported finding a decapitated goat, along with a bag full of decapitated rats and chickens, on the train tracks near the Fruitridge RT station on 26th street.
Chris Knepp was helping a neighbor catch a stray dog that had run onto the train tracks.
“Right here where those wood boards are, in the middle of the tracks, is where I saw a pile of fur,” Knepp said. “As soon as I saw it, my mind changed from trying to rescue a dog to investigating what I was looking at.”
Bobby Mann at the Front Street Animal Shelter has been investigating these incidents for several months.
“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve had over a dozen cases of decapitated animals being left all over the city of Sacramento,” Mann said. “This is something that we have taken very seriously. Unfortunately we had yet to have leads.”
This is the first time a person dropping off the decapitated animals was caught on Regional Transit surveillance camera. A person in a white van is shown, getting out of the vehicle once and dropping off some things. Within a minute, the person gets back into their van, and drives away.
Animal Control officers say what this person did to the animals is not technically illegal. Sacrificing animals for religious reasons is not illegal unless investigators can prove there was prolonged and unnecessary suffering inflicted onto the animal.
“We are currently working with CSI to get forensic evidence and we are working with Regional Transit as well the City of Sacramento Police Department to enhance the video to see if we can potentially get a license plate to further that lead,” Mann said.
If convicted of a felony, the person on the surveillance video may be sentenced to one year in jail, per count.
“We are very stringent on the laws regarding animal cruelty and neglect, and we do have a high success rate of enforcing those laws as well,” Mann said.
If you have any information regarding this incident, the City of Sacramento Animal Services is encouraging you call them at 311. You may be eligible for a $5,000 reward.