EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — Police in East Lyme are warning residents to keep an eye on their livestock after five chickens and two goats were found beheaded inside a trash bag dumped in Nehantic State Forest.
“That’s just horrible,” said park visitor David Dickinson. “We need to figure out who’s doing it and where the animals are coming from.”
The Department of Energy Environmental Protection believes the animals were were killed somewhere else before being left in the park. Investigators and local animal control officers went around to local farms to see if anyone was missing livestock. Chip Dahlke keeps pygmy goats and chickens at Ashlawn Farm Coffee.
“We are not missing any goats nor are we missing any chickens,” he said.
Dahlke calls the killings brutal.
“I couldn’t tell what the chickens were, but it looked like Pygmie goats to me, which are the smallest goats which means they’re easily transported,” said Dahlke.
Investigators say it is more common to find the heads of animals without the bodies, leading them to believe the beheading may have been ritualistic or done so the animal could be eaten, but finding the bodies alone leaves them a bit baffled. Those responsible could face illegal dumping and possibly animal cruelty charges depending on the circumstances.
“The smell had to be horrific and that’s just animal cruelty,” said Dickinson. “There’s no excuse for it.”
DEEP investigators are trying to track down where the animals came from and find out what happened to them. Anyone missing livestock or who saw something suspicious at the park is asked to call Lyme animal control at (860) 434-3047 or DEEP at (860) 424-3000.