CITRUS HEIGHTS -- A group of neighbors in Citrus Heights are stunned after an SUV hit and killed a beloved rooster. It happened Friday morning on Cross Drive near Oak and Sunrise. The rooster's name was Jake, and he was the last of a flock of wild chickens that has lived in the neighborhood for the past 30 years.
Sometimes a pet can be more like a friend.
"I'd let him in in the morning," said Royce Carlock.
Carlock says Jake the rooster would come over to his house on Cross Drive every day.
"I'd sit right here. I'd take this lid, and this is what I fed him, sunflower seeds, every morning," he said.
To let Jake know it was breakfast time, all Carlock had to do was whistle.
"I could hear him crow like 6 o'clock, 6:30 in the morning. I'd open the garage door and whistle, and it'd take him about 10 minutes, but he'd get here," he said.
Jake was the last rooster of a flock of wild chickens that had been roaming the neighborhood for more than 30 years. But Friday morning everything changed.
Kiri Ando's home surveillance cameras couldn't show exactly where Jake was hit, but they captured the aftermath.
"I mean just feathers everywhere," Ando said.
She believes the video proves the driver of the tan SUV that hit Jake did it on purpose.
"I think it was intentional just because we've had a lot of recent adult chickens get hit, where as we used to have a population of several dozen, we now have zero," Ando said.
In the video, the tan SUV can be seen driving way over on the shoulder and going much faster than the other drivers.
"So there he goes, there's the feathers," Ando said. "Doesn't even slow down -- if it was an accident to say, 'what did I hit?" Doesn't slow down at all."
Now Ando and Carlock hope to identify the diver. They're passing out flyers and plan to report him or her to Citrus Heights Animal Control.
"They did it on purpose. I really believe that," Carlock said.
The driver could then be charged with animal cruelty.
"I will go looking around," Carlock said.
Neighbors just want to know why anyone would want to hit Jake while he was walking on the side of the road.
"It just make you sick, something like that. Somebody would do something like that," Carlock said.
Jake was a friend, and Carlock won't ever get to see him again.
"He'd sit right there at the door and just lay there," he said.
"He was one in a million, old Jake. I do miss him, yup."