DECAPITATED GOATS, chickens and ducks were found in a lot in Northeast Philadelphia yesterday afternoon, and authorities are working to determine who dumped the carcasses.

Police found the carcasses about 3:30 p.m. near Comly and Dutton roads. The animals were in a pile of garbage that was left scattered on a grassy area on the side of the road.

"This is a very disturbing scene," said George Bengal, head of Humane Law Enforcement for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

PSPCA officials said the animals may have been slaughtered as part of a religious sacrifice.

Police found several candles and other materials at the scene, 6 ABC reported.

"While the law permits the humane sacrificing of animals for some religious rituals, the dumping of these animals is an illegal act," said Wendy Marano, a PSPCA spokeswoman.

Information on how many animals were found on the lot was not immediately available.

PSPCA officials said the animals would be examined to determine whether they were inhumanely killed.