Dead animals found in So. Fla. waters
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A disturbing discovery was made in Miami Beach.
A dead goat and three chickens were dumped into Biscayne Bay. The animals washed up inside a bag behind a luxury condominium in the area of Fifth Street and Alton Road. They are believed to be part of a religious ritual. "These animals definitely came from very nearby," said Richard Couto of the Animal Recovery Mission. "If not from the Floridian in this area, or West Avenue of South Beach, then possibly Star Island."
Couto is the founder and investigator with the Animal Recovery Mission and believes the animals were decapitated as part of a religious ritual.
Such sacrifices are not only common but legal and protected under the First Amendment. However, "the inhumane treatment prior to death, prior to the torturous death is not legal," Couto said.
Couto explained the animals are sometimes either hog-tied or kept in plastic bags in sweltering heat. The abuse itself is a crime. "Dumping of an animal like this is illegal," he added. "The sacrifice and the ceremony part for religious purposes is legal under the US constitution, but dumping these animals and the inhumane treatment of them is not."
Although the sacrifices are a common occurrence, residents are shocked at the very uncommon South Beach sight. "Everyone has their own religious beliefs. My religion doesn't call for that, but you don't throw plastic bottles in the bay," said Kathryn Boostaver, who made the discovery. "You certainly don't throw animals in the bay. It's terrible."
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