Palm Beach Co. Animal Care and Control is concerned about animal parts showing up in public places
Business owner Marcio Sylva says one of his employees saw a goat in their Lake Worth parking lot last week. "He came outside to get the forklift, and he came outside and he saw the goat."
Sylva ran outside to see for himself. "When I tried to get the animal, they started to run and I saw a bag around the neck, it was a heavy bag."
He called Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.
An officer responded and opened the bag. Inside were several items including beans, money, a chicken head, and a broken chicken egg with an intact partially developed embryo.
Animal Care and Control says someone may have been planning to use the goat in a Santeria ritual.
"When we get these cases, we find goat heads that are strategically placed with some of the same things we found in this bag," said Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Director Dianne Sauve.
Though the goat was found alive, the department says it has noticed an increase in what appears to be religious rituals involving animal parts. Some have been found close to where children walk to school.
"One of the areas is a major school crossing and we have a crossing guard who has to contact us all the time because of these dead roosters that are being left there," Sauve said.
Discarded animals have even been showing up on the beach.
"We have had reports of a goat head left in a basket on the beach and one the cut was throat and found on a beach," according to Sauve. "If the practice is protected, under their constitutional rights under religious freedom, that's one thing. I'm not so sure about disposal of animal parts in inappropriate locations."
If you see someone dumping animal parts and you know who the person is, you're urged to contact Animal Care and Control.