The north Stamford man who on Saturday found the sheep that had “escaped” from New Canaan and returned the animal to its owner says he was disappointed to learn during the exchange that the sheep was to be eaten for Easter Sunday dinner.
John Spoto said that when he discovered the animal was to be slaughtered, he offered to buy it from the owner, who declined. Not knowing what fate awaited the sheep, Spoto had recruited his niece and two nephews to corral the animal when it was seen near Stamford Bi-Cultural Day School on Saturday afternoon. That evening, working through police, Spoto connected by phone with the Weed Street man who had purchased the animal a few days earlier.
“His first words to me were, ‘I hear you found my Sunday dinner,’ ” Spoto said. “That’s when I got upset, because I wouldn’t have gone through what I went through.”
The New Canaan man who bought the sheep could not be reached at home or by phone.
Spoto described himself as a “huge animal lover” who has a llama, alpaca, goat, ducks and coy fish pond on his property. Given the chance to buy the sheep, he would have kept it in his wire mesh pen out back (see photo).
“I know people do [slaughter animals to eat on Easter], I know that is what old-school Italian people do, but that’s not something I wanted to be a part of because that’s not what I am,” Spoto said.
News broke last week that a New Canaan man had purchased a sheep the prior day and that the animal on Thursday morning kicked out of its crate and ran out of the owner's Weed Street garage toward Stamford. New Canaan police in the animal control unit tracked the sheep into Stamford, where that city’s police took over. The animal was secured Saturday afternoon and Spoto said the New Canaan man collected it that night.