Monterey animal welfare group offers reward in alleged animal mutilation case

In a video screen grab from a film by the Humane Farming Association detailing alleged animal mutilations and dumping in Monterey County’s Salinas riverbed, a purported chicken with candles and herbs is found in a bag by a volunteer of the organization. (Humane Farming Association)

MONTEREY – The Humane Farming Association, a group dedicated to the protection of farm animals, has posted a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the alleged mutilation and killings of animals that have been found in the Salinas riverbed in south Monterey County.

“We’re hoping to get the tip email out and offer the reward in order to get whatever information we can find and share with the appropriate agencies to better the situation,” said Rhonda Somerton, local volunteer with the Humane Farming Association.

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According to Somerton, in September, a volunteer with the San Rafael-based animal protection organization, received a tip about the alleged ongoing mutilation, killing and dumping of dogs, goats, and chickens in the Salinas riverbed.

“We have documents going as far back as November 2016, with fresh evidence being documented as recently as November,” said Somerton. “There is no indication that an official investigation was ever undertaken by Monterey County authorities.”

Monterey County Animal Services acknowledges in November 2016, a call was received regarding “multiple bodies dumped” in the riverbed near the Elm Street bridge in Greenfield. An officer was dispatched to discuss the situation with the reporting party. The next day, a body was delivered to the Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center for a necropsy. The necropsy, while suspicious, did not provide any definitive information to conclude it represented an animal cruelty case, or to lead to any suspects.

But Somerton…

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