City Desk

When Montgomery Village resident Jane Wilder called police on a group of adults who’d let a springer spaniel loose on some baby Canada geese near her house on May 28, she thought that was the end of the matter. On May 31, however, she found a beheaded adult Canada goose on her front porch, and another two dead geese were found in a nearby park two days later. The fowl play is now a full-fledged investigation, undertaken by Montgomery County Police and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). If caught, the goose-killers face state animal-cruelty penalties of up to three years in jail, a $5,000 fine, and mandatory psychological counseling, as well as an additional six months’ jail time and a $15,000 fine per bird under federal endangered-species-protection laws. Neither law enforcement nor MDNR officials would comment on the investigation, but Wilder has her own suspicions. “It takes a great deal of effort to capture and kill an adult goose,” she observes. “It had to be a gang or group.” —Sarah Godfrey