MIAMI (WSVN) - Animal rights activists made a disturbing discovery along a South Florida beach.
Dismembered animals and doll heads were found scattered on the beach after an apparent religious sacrifice near the Rickenbacker Causeway, Thursday morning.
“It’s terrible,” one bystander said.
“I feel that it is just madness,” another bystander added.
Animal Recovery Mission stumbled upon chicken feet, dolls, goat heads and fruit lining the shore.
ARM’s Rachel Taylor believes all signs point to Santeria, the Caribbean religion that combines parts of Catholicism with spiritual beliefs originating in Africa.
“This is something that happens regularly with Santeria,” Taylor said.
ARM is dedicated to eliminating animal cruelty operations.
She said the nonprofit has investigated hundreds of similar cases across South Florida.
“Sacrificing of animals, as well as statues and trinkets,” said Taylor.
7News cameras captured Miami Police officers responding to the scene, but activists said it’s not enough. They’re calling on local leaders to do more.
The nonprofit said they’re not trying to stop anybody from practicing their religion – it’s only a matter of protecting animals.
“Generally what’ll happen is these animals will just get picked up by sanitation and thrown away,” Taylor said. “A lot of the times it’s really about people educating themselves about the difference between the freedom to practice a religion and the animal cruelty crime.”
Officers at the scene weren’t able to do much because the organization said it’s almost impossible to catch the people in the act.
The most they could do is help get it cleaned up.
Advocates said many of the animals used in the ceremonies are obtained legally, which is why they want to see the cases prosecuted.
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