A Florida man was arrested Tuesday on two counts of animal cruelty charges after allegedly beheading a dog because he was “stressed and needed an animal sacrifice to cleanse himself,” reported the Local 10. On January 14, an anonymous caller notified police officials about a West Palm Beach man, Javier Orelly, 28, who was seen “kicking and throwing his dog around” at an apartment complex on West Trail Road, just west of Haverhill Road and north of Southern Boulevard.
The caller also told West Palm Beach police officials that they feared Orelly was going to kill the dog because it appeared as if he was building a shrine. But when officials arrived at the scene at approximately 7 p.m., they discovered Orelly digging a grave in the yard of his apartment complex with the body of a headless, black dog dumped inside. The dog’s breed was not immediately clear, but police officials say its head was found lying on top of two rocks, adjacent to the body of a dead duck. Orelly admitted to killing the dog, who police officials later uncovered belonged to the suspect. Orally also allegedly killed the duck.
Orelly was immediately arrested and taken to the precinct for questioning, where he claimed he killed his dog because it looked at him weird and bit him. It was reported that Orelly stabbed the dog in the neck with a knife in self-defense, but his story later changed. According to NY Daily News, he confessed to police officials that he beheaded his dog because he was “stressed and needed an animal sacrifice to cleanse himself.”
The Florida man later added that he initially used a knife to behead his dog, but was having difficulties dong so; therefore, he used a medieval-style ax to finish the job. The arrest report stated that Orelly “kept chopping the head until it came off.” Investigators believe that it was an act of Santeria as a “stick with the word ‘tortura’ — the Spanish word for ‘torture’ — carved into it” was found at the gruesome scene, as well as two large knives and money that were located atop of a red towel.
Strange findings at Javier Orelly’s apt.Per PBC ACC&C appeared to be act of Santeria but unusual to use dog in act. pic.twitter.com/9wPpt8T6YA
— Katie Johnson (@Katie_Johnson_) January 20, 2016
Under U.S. law, some animal sacrifices are legal if the animal is humanely killed for legitimate religious purposes. But in this disturbing case of animal cruelty, Orelly beheaded his own pet dog, as well as a duck, as a part of a ritual in the state of Florida, where the slaughter of cats and dogs is prohibited in Florida.
Orelly was charged with two counts of animal cruelty, and was also charged with the possession of marijuana.
Javier Orelly, 28, was arrested on Tuesday after he allegedly beheaded his pet pit bull and a duck https://t.co/3J1TQiJM5J
— Holly Quinn (@Holly30253) January 21, 2016
West Palm Beach Animal Care and Control Capt. Dave Walesky stated that Orelly does not have a history of animal cruelty, but he added that the act is not uncommon as he has seen it in religions, such as Santeria. However, the animal that is sacrificed during the ritual is a usually a goat or a chicken, not a dog. Walesky went on to say that “As far as Palm Beach County is concerned, it’s not uncommon for us to get reports of animals that have been disposed on the side of the road or in other parts of the county that appear to have been involved in some sort of Santeria ritual. But usually, in most cases, it doesn’t involve a dog.”
Javier Orelly made his first court appearance Wednesday morning, where Judge Joseph Marx ordered him to be held without a bond until he undergoes a mental-health exam. His mother, whose name has been withheld, told the court through a translator that her son was treated for mental issues in the past, but she did not elaborate on the matter. Orelly is expected to return to court on Friday.
[Image via Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office]