Pair Accused of Stealing and Slaughtering Sheep in Hialeah Gardens

Two men accused of stealing and slaughtering three sheep in Hialeah Gardens were behind bars Monday, authorities said.

Jose Cartaya Reyes, 69, and Robel Rosendo Morales, 46, are both facing three counts of animal cruelty, and one count each of armed burglary and possession of burglary tools, Hialeah Gardens Police said.

Both men were being held on $20,000 each Monday, Miami-Dade jail records showed. It was unknown if they've hired attorneys.

The incident happened Saturday afternoon when an officer responded to a burglary call in the area of Northwest 102nd Avenue and 138th Street.

The officer saw one of the men placing an object in the back of a pickup truck and the other man sitting in the truck with a knife next to him, according to an arrest report.

Reyes told the officer they had a flat tire but the tire wasn't flat, the report said. When the officer looked in the back of the truck, he saw a dead Barbados blackbelly sheep that had been freshly slaughtered, the report said.

Both Reyes and Morales were taken into custody. Two more sheep were found by the fence of the property where they were taken from, the report said.

The animals belonged to Out of the Ashes Foundation, which connects youth with nature. They are heartbroken about the loss. They released a statement on their Facebook page, saying in part:

"Early this morning our farm suffered a great loss. Three of our Barbados black belly sheep lost their lives to human predators. Our farm has been a target of attacks for many years but our goal to give youth the reconnection to nature that we all need stands firm."

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