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One dozen bloody animal skulls found on Seattle, Wash. lawn

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On Friday, Dec. 27, KIRO 7 News reported that one dozen bloody animal skulls were found in the front yard of a Seattle home during the early morning hours.

The home, which is across from the Fremont troll in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, is located at North 36th Street and Troll Avenue. According to the Seattle Police Department, ten of the skulls appear to be freshly skinned and were spread around the yard.

Two other skulls were placed on the home's porch, with one placed in a chair.

The home's residents told officers that they didn't know how the skulls had gotten there. They believe that it could be the work of neighborhood children who had bothered them the night before.

Police officers threw the skulls into a dumpster and continue to investigate.

The police report does not specify what kind of animals were involved with this bizarre situation. In photos posted on Reddit, the animals appear to be butchered sheep. The situation could potentially be an animal cruelty case.

In Washington state, animal cruelty is taken very seriously. Animal cruelty in the first degree (RCW 16.52.205) is defined as:

(1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized in law, he or she intentionally

(a) inflicts substantial pain on,
(b) causes physical injury to, or
(c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.

(2) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized by law, he or she, with criminal negligence, starves, dehydrates, or suffocates an animal and as a result causes:
(a) Substantial and unjustifiable physical pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or
(b) death.

Any potential animal cruelty needs to be taken seriously. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there is a propensity for those who abuse animals to later abuse humans, as well.

Numerous studies show a connection between animal abuse and violence committed against humans. In a 2001-2004 study conducted by the Chicago Police Department, 65% of those arrested for animal crimes had also been arrested for battery against a person. Another study showed that half of 36 convicted multiple murderers admitted to committing acts of animal torture as adolescents.

Updates to this story - including the accurate identification of these animals and whether police suspect animal cruelty - will be posted as they occur.

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