Hollywood man fears animal sacrifices are being carried out next door

Police, city officials investigating after complaints about smell

By Ian Margol - Reporter

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - When the wind stops blowing, the smell at times in this neighborhood is pretty tough to handle and neighbors want the city to step in and stop whatever is causing it.

When he moved into his Hollywood home in September, Alberto Serrano started noticing that his next-door neighbor sometimes had animals in the backyard. 

Pigs, goats and chickens were in crates, and could easily be seen through the bushes, Serrano said. But he quickly realized, they weren't pets.

"We didn't really think much of it until we started noticing they were actually sacrificing these animals," Serrano said.

Serrano and his landlord, Ephram Yoshoua, said the man living next door slaughters the animals outside as religious sacrifices. 

"Vans of animals come to the house, and they store them in the back and then they hold them for a while until they do the performance or whatever they do," Yoshoua said.

They said they have not seen it happen, but Serrano said they have heard it.

"Whether it's the chickens gobbling like crazy, or goats screaming or pigs running around screaming," Serrano said.

When we went into Serrano's yard, we could see a man next door flipping over coolers. Earlier in the day, Yoshoua showed us a video of the same man and a woman, wearing gloves and shoving something into trash bags.

On Tuesday, flies buzzed around the house, particularly around one garbage can. Neighbors said the smell is from decomposing animal carcasses.

They said they have contacted the police and the city about the stench and the animal noise but so far nothing has been done.

When we tried to talk to the neighbor, no one came to the door. 

This could be a complicated case because, obviously, religious rights come into play.

When asked whether killing animals in residential areas in Hollywood is legal, city officials said they were researching the issue. A spokesperson for the Hollywood Police Department said officers are also investigating.

"I hope this gets resolved, and everybody can be at peace. Right now, all of the neighbors are terrified," Serrano said.

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