Six decapitated chickens were found Friday near a public pond in Great River — part of a “barbaric” religious ritual, according to the Suffolk County SPCA.
The beheaded chickens and a dead fish were discovered near the water at West Brook Pond off Montauk Highway, said SCPA Chief Roy Gross.
Also found at the scene, Gross said, was a blue tarp, random fruits and vegetables and barley groats — a feed that is often used in animal sacrifices to be thrown on an altar to sow good fortune and provide protection from the gods.
“It’s a horrible blood ritual that doesn’t belong in our society,” Gross said. “It’s very concerning. These are barbaric acts of animal cruelty.”
“Kids go fishing at this pond,” he said. “Think about how disturbing it would be if kids had come upon the scene.”
The area has been used in the past for animal sacrifice, he added.
In July 2015, a cow’s tongue was found wrapped in a cloth and hooked to a tree across from the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. Authorities did not make an arrest in that case.
The SPCA is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals involved in the latest case. The perpetrators face misdemeanor animal cruelty charges punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for each dead animal.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722. Calls will be kept confidential.