More than a dozen animals slaughtered at Detroit school farm

More than a dozen animals slaughtered at Detroit school farm

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DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

The Humane Society and Detroit police are working to solve a disturbing mystery. Someone slaughtered more than a dozen farm animals at Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit. The alternative school for pregnant teens maintains an urban farm on Selden. Now police and neighbors want to know who would do this and why?

Fox 2's Robin Schwartz found out there was drama at the school before the crime. Click on the video player to watch her report.

It's hard to find the right words to describe what investigators found at the scene -- at least 7 chickens, 5 goats and a cat were bludgeoned or hacked to death. Two more chickens and another cat were injured but may be nursed back to health.

"One of the volunteers who comes in the morning to feed and milk the goats found them killed," said principal Asenath Andrews.

Neighbors tell Fox 2 they hear the roosters every morning. There are photos posted online about the farm program where students milk goats, sell eggs and produce and take care of the animals. The farm has received international attention and has been a source of joy for 15 years.

"Why would you kill helpless animals and how could you kill them without me hearing it," said Elaine Lovett who lives across the street. "Whoever did that planned it out and planned it well so we wouldn't hear the animals hollering."

Before all of this happened there was already plenty of drama at the school. Students have been dropping out and there was just a protest Thursday over the way the charter school is being run. Joyce Schon is an activist with the group BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) which took part in the protest. She says the group plans to file a lawsuit early next week because the school is no longer teaching students, instead forcing them to study independently. She says so many have dropped out, there are only 50 students left. She's suspicious of the timing of the farm attack.

"It's horrifying but it has the smell of the arson fire," Schon said. "When somebody wants to get rid of a building in Detroit they hire somebody to burn it down and then collect on insurance -- and that's what I'd investigate if I were looking into this now."

We tried to contact the group that runs the charter school but their voice mail was full and could not receive new messages. Counselors will be on hand when students return Monday to help them cope with what's happened.

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