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Goat Found Dead and Strung Up at Petaluma High School
A 15 pound goat was discovered Friday, April 4, strung up from a fence on the campus of Petaluma High School, near a baseball field. Petaluma Animal Control is investigating the incident. The cause of death has not yet been determined. However, under California Penal Code § 597(a), anyone who “maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal” can face misdemeanor charges—one year in county lockup and/or a $20,000 fine—or felony charges amounting to up to three years in county jail and/or a $20,000 fine.
Senior Animal Control Officer Mark Scott noted that the individual(s) responsible went to significant lengths to display the animal in that gruesome manner. “Somebody had to be skilled in climbing. Someone had to be skilled in tying a specific knot to hold it there,” he said.
Earlier this week, dead animals were also found at Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, another Northern California location. Four chickens, one rabbit, and one duck, who were part of a school agricultural program, were killed over the weekend in a school break-in; police have already detained three juvenile suspects in this case. Both instances have proved emotionally traumatic for children at the schools, according to media reports. Students at Adrian Wilcox helped care for the animals who were killed, and many Petaluma High School students live and work with farmed animals. Both incidents are being treated seriously by law enforcement.
“The gruesome slaughter of innocent animals has shocked our community,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “We urge anyone with information about the killing of this baby goat to come forward immediately for the safety of the animals and humans in our community.”
Animal Legal Defense Fund