Maria Cantu said she and her daughters will never forget the horrors they discovered inside the La Villa Independent School District TMs Ag Farm.
“It was barbaric,” the mother said.
She described the grounds as being turned upside down.
I felt hurt, Cantu told Action 4 TMs Ryan Wolf. I felt anger.”
Many of the animals housed there, including Cantu TMs 14-year-old daughter’s pig, were beaten and tortured, according to the school parent who TMs involved in the FFA program.
“They had ropes tied around their necks,” she said.
Cantu took more than a dozen photographs of the bloodshed and vandalism left behind.
The scene was a far cry from the nurturing skills she thought her kids would learn on the Ag Farm.
Cantu TMs photos showed what appeared to be a goat with its eyes gouged out.
Pigs were seen with large cuts.
Cantu said the animal feed was believed to be poisoned.
She described to Action 4 News how she was told some of the animals were abused.
“Apparently, they used a steel bat to hit the animals,” she said.
La Villa Police Chief Victor Garcia said his department was taking this case very seriously because of the brutal nature of the crime.
He added how the alleged actions were a precursor to more violent behavior.
Officers have already picked up two juveniles who are facing 12 counts of animal cruelty in connection to the case, according to Chief Garcia.
A third juvenile, who’s already been identified as a suspect in the case, was expected to be charged soon as well.
La Villa I.S.D. Superintendent Judith Solis said the suspects, who were not students in the district, cut through the fence at the Ag Farm to gain entry on Saturday night.
She said someone who lived near the property tipped off police about the vandals TM whereabouts.
The next day she said the community came together to quickly clean the grounds and tend to both the animals and children in need.
“We’re such a small community, she told Wolf. To see everyone band together and work towards doing what was really right, which was really taking care of the children and taking care of the animals, it was tremendous.”
Cantu doesn’t know if the animals or her children will ever be the same.
“My daughters cried, she said. Several of the other students cried.”
Solis said she believed the district would be ready for their FFA competition this Thursday in Mercedes.
She TMs asking the public for help with feed donations to help the program get back on track.