At least one person broke into a Foster Farms chicken shed in Fresno County this month and used a golf club to kill 920 birds, officials said Tuesday.
Deputies arrived at the facility in Caruthers, southwest of Fresno, on Sept. 20 and found that an intruder had pulled back a fence to gain access to the shed, the sheriff's office said in a news release. It said the intruder killed hundreds of chickens with a golf club "and possibly another similar type instrument."
A piece of what appeared to be a golf club was found at the scene, Deputy Chris Curtice told the Los Angeles Times.
Detectives are looking into a motive, but "whoever did something like this is pretty sick," Curtice said. "It would take a long time to do it…. People should be alarmed at something like that."
Sheriff's investigators are asking for help in finding whoever was responsible. Foster Farms is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to arrest and prosecution. And on Wednesday, the Animal Legal Defense Fund announced an additional $5,000 reward for the same thing.
"It is the express policy of Foster Farms to treat its birds humanely and with compassion," the company said in a statement.
"This heinous act of animal cruelty must be met with the full force of the law," Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in a statement.
Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff's detectives at (559) 600-8150, the sheriff's office at (559) 600-3111 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867.