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SPCA probes shot opossum, animal heads dumped in bag

The Suffolk County SPCA is asking for information

The Suffolk County SPCA is asking for information about the dumping of a wounded opossum in the Holtsville area. (April 30, 2013) Credit: Suffolk County SPCA

An opossum was rescued from a garbage pail after being shot in the face, and two animal heads were found dumped in a bag, the Suffolk SPCA said in asking for the public's help in two separate cases.

More than six pellets were removed from the opossum's face, neck and torso at a veterinary hospital after a Holtsville resident on Blossom Avenue found it in front of his house April 24, said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"Somebody just kept firing at it," Gross said.

The animal, an adult, was expected to survive and will be cared for by a wildlife rehabilitator, he said. If the opossum can survive by itself, it will be released into the wild, he said.

Whoever shot the opossum could be charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, he said.

In the other case, the two animal heads found Tuesday were not the first heads dumped over the years in East Northport near Elwood and Warner roads, Gross said. Several heads were found last year in the woods there, including possibly those of goats because the remains had horns, he said.

This time, the two heads appear to be from goats or sheep, but it's hard to tell, Gross said. They also appear to have been killed recently, he said.

"They were just skinned and mutilated," the SPCA head said. "It didn't look like it was eaten."

The heads were found just a foot off the roadway in clear, small plastic bags, Gross said.

"Anybody walking by or driving by would see it," Gross said. "It looks like they were killed not too long ago."

The animals may have been killed in a religious ritual or on a farm for food, he said.

Anyone with information can call the Suffolk SPCA at 631-382-7722. Calls will be kept confidential.

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