Escaped New Canaan Sheep Found, Eaten for Easter

A Stamford animal-lover who found the sheep that last week had kicked out of its crate in New Canaan and ran off says he offered to purchase the animal from its owner on hearing of plans for slaughter—and keep it with his own animals—but was unsuccessfu


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.

NCrez April 02, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Did NOT see that coming...
Canaanite April 02, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Hahahaha! I cannot imagine what other reason someone would want to keep a sheep in New Canaan for . . . Not like people spin their own wool anymore.
John April 02, 2013 at 08:16 PM
We can only hope this is a fading tradition.
J Bauer April 02, 2013 at 09:14 PM
True love is the greatest thing in the world, except for a good mutton lettuce and tomato sandwich.
MC April 02, 2013 at 09:54 PM
This is a funny story, and I needed a laugh today. Hey Glen, what say you? I hope you haven't used up your 3 comments yet. I'll have to start a change.org petition to FREE GLEN from onerous Patch regulation.
The Sheep Lady April 02, 2013 at 10:32 PM
There are, indeed, people who spin their own yarn in New Canaan. I give a presentation to the fifth grade during Colonial Day. That is why they call me The Sheep Lady. Sadly, I do not own any at this time.
Esprit de Corps April 02, 2013 at 10:42 PM
This situation reminds me of a song we used to sing at Heidelberg. We're poor little lambs who have lost our way Baa, baa, baa We're little black sheep who have gone astray Baa, baa, baa Gentleman songsters off on a spree Doomed from here to eternity Lord have mercy on such as we Baa, baa, baa
lamar April 03, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Silence of the lambs?
lpgraphix April 03, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Ok ,Ok, so you went to Yalel!!!
Jayne April 03, 2013 at 05:54 AM
Sad. Is slaughtering your own animals allowed by law in New Canaan??
Esprit de Corps April 03, 2013 at 07:12 AM
No, that is not correct. After my foreign service, I wanted to attend a college with the diversity of languages that I encountered overseas, so I attended Baeker College in Delaware. It was a struggle for me but there was an Esperanto Tutorial Group for foreign students and I was able to attain my degree. In order to help pay my tuition, the marching band hired me to teach them close-order drill and every Wednesday afternoon, we practiced formations on the intermural sports field. I also helped out in the lab by developing higher-voltage crank-operated magnetos for field use. As part of that research, I wrote a safety manual to help operators avoid unintended electrical shock. Yale was beyond my reach, but I am happy to have been educated in America.
Michelle Orr April 03, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Can this even be true? Don't people eat lamb? Not sheep? Either way, this store makes me laugh! Thanks patch!
CT Girl April 03, 2013 at 12:31 PM
poor little guy :(
Canaanite April 03, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Why? What's it to you what other people eat on holidays? Are you a vegetarian? Do you wear leather shoes and belts? If so, then it's hypocritical to criticize the slaughter of a sheep used for food.
Canaanite April 03, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Sheep Songs is what they teach at Yale nowadays?
Canaanite April 03, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Lamb is lamb, and adult sheep meat is called mutton. And yes, people eat it. Same way as some eat rabbit . . . or deer . . . or other game. not my cup o tea, but to each his own.
Jim Shepard April 03, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Much more humane to kill your own than in a big slauder mill.
NM April 03, 2013 at 05:50 PM
They're so perky, I love that.
J Bauer April 03, 2013 at 06:28 PM
That's how out of touch we are these days, when people have to ask if butchering your own food is legal!! I'm surprised some people don't want to have their food chewed for them too.
Esprit de Corps April 03, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Excuse me Sir, but shouldn't the rams, lambs, sheep or mutton worry about a shepard who talks about human ways of preparing dinner? Is it possible your real name is Jim Wolf and you dress in sheepskin?
Esprit de Corps April 03, 2013 at 09:42 PM
I have made an error. I meant to say humane ways of preparing dinner.
Tinkerbell April 05, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Poor thing! What a disgusting story!!!!
mary parker April 05, 2013 at 08:25 AM
I can understand back in the day when you raised animals to slaughter and feed your family and now a days if you are a farmer that raises them to feed their family but to me this was cruel! He was offered money from someone to save the sheep and he to me did it out of spite and said no and killed the sheep. Is his property ordinanced for farm animals? Seriously he would have made money selling the sheep to the "good deed person" but no he had to be a jerk and kill it. I think he got a thrill out of slitting the sheeps throat. There should be a law on who can or can't purchase livestock in towns and have required zoned property to have live stock even if it is for slaughtering. This guy is just heartless and killed this sheep out of spite to all who wanted to save it. Thank you to the person who found it and at least tried to save the sheep. Sorry the owner turned out to be heartless.
Canaanite April 05, 2013 at 01:39 PM
The problem is that nowadays all the PETA freaks have managed to convince everyone that animals are to be valued equally with humans, and that to treat them in any way you would not treat your fellow human being (dregs of society excepted!) is cruel and unusual punishment. The sheep was bought and slaughtered and used for food . . . NOTHING cruel about that. Just because it's not something you personally wouldn't have the stomach to do (and I wouldn't either, for the record, but I had family members who used to hunt and eat their kill) doesn't mean it's wrong. This is FAR more humane than what they do to chickens and cows and pigs at slaughterhouses . . . We are so disconnected from our food sources this day in age that kids probably think chicken grows on trees. The fact that the sheep escaped was accidental, and the owner was not looking to make money. The sheep was his property to do with as he wished. He chose to make it Easter dinner - that does not make him a jerk. Good for him, I hope it was yummy!! And by the way, all this aside, I would like to point out that buying your own livestock and using it for food may well be far HEALTHIER than the commercial meat you get from God knows where. At least this way he may have known the source the meat was coming from and what the animal was fed, how it was treated, etc. And to some people, that's a bigger concern than the sheep's feelings. Rightfully so!
Canaanite April 05, 2013 at 01:43 PM
How could he have done it out of spite when the original intent was to do exactly what he did? You don't have a right to speculate about his intentions! . . . nor do you have a right to assume he is a bloodthirsty monster who enjoys killing animals!
Charlene April 05, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Well said Canaanite. This was food, not a pet.
Denverite April 06, 2013 at 04:25 AM
Kudos to Canaanite, Charlene and to the others who have an understanding that it was not a murder of an animal but to provide food for an Easter dinner. The ones that are closed minded and complaining need to do a little research and see what is happening in slaughter houses, poultry farms, and even puppy mills in our country. Please wake up people. We are not in Never Never Land and pixie dust is not real. I like to add one last thing. I bet my mom worked her magic preparing the lamb and it was delicious as ever. Being 2000 miles away, I can only imagin enjoying eating a piece of lamb and having it just melt in my mouth. PS looking forward to Christmas dinner.
Milehigh April 06, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Tell your mom I'm coming for Christmas dinner


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