Goats. Photo: City of Lemon Grove/Facebook

A group of livestock was found dead under suspicious circumstances Friday in a pen on a rural property in eastern San Diego County, prompting an animal cruelty investigation.

The apparent malicious killing of 10 animals — goats, lambs and a ram — at a private ranch in the 400 block of Peutz Valley Road in Alpine was discovered shortly after 8 a.m., sheriff’s Lt. Anthony O’Boyle said.

The lieutenant declined to comment in detail on how the animals may have died.

“The manner and cause of death of the animals was suspicious,” O’Boyle said. “I will not be releasing any more than that to maintain the integrity of the investigation, but necropsies will be conducted in order to determine the manner and cause of death of the animals.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. Feb. 19, 2021

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