ROME, N.Y. (UPDATED) – Rome police were called to a home on Third Street last week, where officers say a resident was cooking a “canine carcass” outside on a makeshift grill.
Police had received an animal cruelty complaint on Wednesday, Jan. 13, and responded to the residence around 4 p.m.
Officers say the resident was cooperative with police, claiming the animal was a coyote, not a domestic dog. It is currently open hunting season for coyotes in New York, which runs from Oct. 1 to March 28. However, a small game hunting license is required.
Due to its condition, police were unable to tell what type of animal it was.
Animal Control was called in to assist, and seized the animal. The investigation was then turned over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
The carcass was sent to Cornell University to be tested to see if they could determine the animal’s species and cause of death. CNY SPCA Chief Investigator William Pulaski says it could take at least a month to get the test results.
Slaughtering domesticated animals for food is a violation of Section 96-E of the Agriculture & Markets Law, which states:
"It shall be unlawful for any slaughterhouse, abattoir or other place or establishment, or for any person, to slaughter or butcher domesticated dog (canis familiaris) or domesticated cat (felis catus or domesticus) to create food, meat or meat products for human or animal consumption."
Individuals can face civil penalties, including a fine of up to $1,000 for first violations, and up to $25,000 for subsequent violations.
Animal Control did search a list of lost dogs in the area from the past 12 months, and did not find any domestic dogs matching the size and weight of this animal.
The investigation into this case is ongoing.