Sacrificial Animals for Santeria Rituals Sized by Houston Police

February 14, 2003

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On February 14, 2003 The Houston Chronicle reported that "members of a north Houston family that practices Santeria rituals said they were praying for a relative in a coma when authorities barged into their home, seizing 12 goats, 11 chickens and two pigeons about to be sacrificed... No charges were immediately filed against the five participants in the religious ritual in the 300 block of Coach near Imperial Valley, but the Houston SPCA seized all of the animals in the family's back yard Wednesday... The five residents, ages 19 to 76, said they had purchased the animals earlier in the day at a slaughterhouse... Someone called Houston police at 6:53 p.m. to report cruelty to animals, and constable's deputies went to the scene... Residents of the home denied that any animals were malnourished or abused, and said their rights were violated by authorities who don't understand their religion."