A group of Texas teens have found themselves at the center of controversy following a series of violent crimes toward two llamas. According to ABC News, the Tomball High School teens reportedly shot and beheaded the defenseless animals and confessed to the crimes they committed on March 6 of this year.
Police reports have revealed the two teens, both 16 years of age, allegedly shot one of the llamas and beheaded the other. Due to their age, their names have not been released to the public. Harris County Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen recently shared details about the boys and the criminal charges that have been filed against them. On Thursday, June 2, the boys were arrested and charged with “one count each of animal cruelty, a felony and two counts each of misdemeanor criminal mischief,” according to The Blaze.
During a news interview, Constable Rosen shared his reaction to the disturbing crime. “Just when you think you’ve heard it all, along comes a bizarre case that makes you wonder what goes through people’s minds, especially young people,” Rosen said.
Ruby Herron – co-owner of the Figment Ranch in Cypress, TX where the incident took place – has also spoken publicly about the incident. She recounted the series of events that took place and shared details about the condition of Lorenzo, the llama that was fortunate to survive the shooting. He was reportedly trying to protect La Tida, the llama that was sadly beheaded. “He was trying to protect [La Tida],” Herron said. “He was the best guard in the world.”
However, Lorenzo still has two bullets lodged in his spine. Due to the location of the bullets, veterinary caretakers have warned that removing the bullets could be a potentially deadly procedure.
Herron, who discovered the beheaded llama, revealed the gruesome scene was unlike anything she’s ever seen in her 30 years of experience as a rancher. She admitted they now fear for the animals since the boys trespassed to enter the property. “It’s a feeling that you never want to have,” she said. “These kids need help. I don’t know what would even possess them.”
In fact, she also revealed how the horrific experience has changed Lorenzo. The poor animal is reportedly frightened at the site of new people. “Now, he is so frightened every time someone comes up,” Herron said. “His whole personality has changed.”
The crime itself is highly disturbing, but there are other mental factors that such crimes insinuate. According to the Psychology Today, there are numerous psychological levels to childhood animal cruelty and age levels determine the severity of the possible mental issue with the child or teen. Whenever children over the age of 12 abuse animals, their actions may require professional intervention to get to the root of the problem. As young adults, like the 16-year-olds facing charges for cruelty to the llamas, they had the cognitive maturity to decipher right from wrong but chose to harm the animals anyway.
The charges filed against the teens have also sparked controversy as many social media users argue that the charges seem fairly lenient despite the boys’ age. Since the beheading is considered a gruesome murder, some readers believe animal cruelty should have been the least of the charges they faced. But, their age is most likely a strong factor where the charges are concerned.
In addition to grieving the loss of La Tida, the ranch will reportedly lose approximately $20,000 in revenue because the llama will no longer be able to reproduce. La Tida was also a show-quality AQHA halter champion llama. So, she will be deeply missed by the ranch owners.
[Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images]