The skins of 50 sheep, goats and cows thrown into a brushy ravine along Lopez Canyon Road in Lake View Terrace were removed and destroyed Tuesday by Los Angeles County animal control officers.
The skins were scattered along about 150 yards of the road, some lying a few feet off the pavement and others hanging from tree branches. Because they had begun to dry, officials speculated that the hides had been disposed of Saturday.
Officer Jerry White of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control in Castaic said the hides looked as if they had been professionally removed. "They knew what they were doing," he said.
He said several families might have gotten together to have the animals slaughtered for food.
White said the isolated stretch of road is frequently the site of illegal dumping and that animal carcasses are often found in the area.
"We get them, but nothing like this," said Sgt. Dennis Smith of the animal control department's Baldwin Park office.
Ashley Godsey, from Camp Shekinah, a nearby Christian camp, was jogging with a friend Monday morning when he saw a sheep carcass a few feet from the road.
"It was a really eerie feeling," Godsey said, "as I went off the side, I saw a stack of about 30 skins in the gully."
Some carcasses still had auction tags on the ears.
Animal control officers said they will try to trace the owners and prosecute them.
Dumping animal carcasses on or near roadways is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 or six months in jail, said Larry Diamond, deputy district attorney in Van Nuys .