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In trash bins, some creepy discoveries

Headless animals - chickens, quail and goats - have turned up behind Spring Hill businesses.

Published October 13, 2006

SPRING HILL - The stench drifted from the trash bin behind the Spring Hill Animal Clinic, but it didn't alarm David Wempe.

The veterinarian says people often dispose of dead animals in the bin.

But two weeks ago, a strange smell showed up in a nearby trash bin for Mrs. Mobility, a scooter and wheelchair store.

Employees pulled two vegetable crates out of the trash and called Wempe.

Stuffed inside the crates were four chickens, two quail and a pygmy goat.

All of the animals were decapitated. There was no blood anywhere on their fur or skin.

Wempe called the Sheriff's Office.

The department investigated, briefly, and noted that "it could not be determined whether the animals' heads were cut off prior to or after the time of death."

Authorities promised increased patrols but a week later, on Tuesday, more dead animals appeared, this time in white trash bags thrown into the trash bin behind Nini Nails.

The animals were too decomposed to remove, but Wempe identified them as headless chickens and a decapitated goat.

Now he's sure that the decomposing animals he found in his trash bin three weeks ago were part of the same trend.

"We've not experienced it before. That's what our concern was," Wempe said. "There weren't any other marks on them other than their head taken off."

All three business back onto a narrow access road that runs parallel to Spring Hill Drive, just east of Mariner Boulevard.

"The road is very hard to patrol," said Vanessa Guy, manager of Mrs. Mobility. "It's very dark at night."

She was disgusted to hear about what was being done to the animals.

"It seems like it's a once a week thing," she said. "With Halloween coming, kids do a lot of odd things."

But no one knows whether it's kids.

The Sheriff's Office has reopened its investigation.

Mrs. Mobility is getting locks for its trash bin.

Everyone else is just hoping that it won't happen again.

"I don't know who would do this or why," Wempe said. "That's why we get spooked."

Jonathan Abel can be reached at or 352 754-6114.

[Last modified October 12, 2006, 22:17:52]

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