FARMINGTON — An animal rights group is offering a reward for information that leads to the prosecution of people suspected of decapitating animals near the Anasazi Trailer Court off of the Bloomfield Highway.
According to a news release from Animal Protection of New Mexico, a young goat was found decapitated and gutted on June 1 about 10 miles northeast of the trailer park.
The goat's body was found less than a month after another animal, a 7-month-old Great Pyranees and St. Bernard mix named Boo, was found decapitated. The dog's owners found its body in early May in the same trailer park.
Neither animals' heads have been located.
Boo's owners, Sherry and Albert Martin, previously told The Daily Times the decapitation wound was precise and the dog's legs were bound.
"And if somebody will do that with an animal, what's next?" Sherry Martin said in an article published last month.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is investigating the deaths as extreme animal cruelty, a fourth-degree felony. The offense carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Sheriff's office Lt. Cordell Tanner said no evidence has been found linking the two crimes, but it is possible they are connected.
"There is a lack of evidence leading to any person of interest, so it will rely heavily on citizens coming forward with what they know," Tanner said.
No blood was found near the goat's body, which could indicate it was beheaded in a different area, Tanner said. Unlike Boo, no injuries were found on the goat's legs.
Animal Protection of New Mexico, which is based in Albuquerque, is offering a reward of up to $8,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the crimes. People with information are being asked to call the New Mexico Attorney General's Animal Cruelty Hot Line at 877-548-6263. Callers may remain anonymous.
Alan Edmonds, a cruelty case manager for the animal rights group, said he has a hard time remembering any instances of animal decapitations in New Mexico before Boo's death.
"As far as the crow flies, it seems likely that the same person is involved," Edmonds said.
Edmonds said he is grateful the sheriff's office is taking the incident seriously.
"The person committing this crime presents a potential danger to the people of San Juan County, as well as the animals," he said.