Sacrificial lamb gets second chance after being rescued

DENVER — A lamb set to be sacrificed in a religious ritual in a Colorado Springs apartment has gotten a second chance at life, while the couple convicted of abusing the animal has been sentenced to probation.

The lamb was discovered in April 2012 inside the room Periz Jackson and Elijah Black were renting in a shared house on Cascade Avenue near Boulder Street in Colorado Springs, KRDO.com reported.

Investigators said the couple planned to sacrifice the lamb for Passover, which isn’t illegal, but that the animal was being mistreated. It allegedly had no water and its hay was covered in excrement.

Property owner Kevin Lofland said another renter tipped him off to a potential pet in the room.

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘What, a cat or dog?’” recalled Lofland. “He goes, ‘No man, I think it’s a goat. All of a sudden we hear this, ‘Baaahh!’”

He said he had the couple put the lamb in a storage room, then got in touch with the Humane Society. Jackson and Black were charged with animal cruelty.

“We, for lack of a better term, shopped around quite a bit trying to find a home where (the lamb) would be cared for appropriately,” said Joe Stafford, animal law enforcement director with the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.

Eventually, Sprinkles was adopted by El Paso County prosecutor Shannon Gerhart and her husband and taken to their ranch out east.

“When we heard about the story and pretty much realized we were one of the few people who could take care of him, we decided to go ahead and do it,” said Ray Gerhart.

The Gerharts named the lamb “Sprinkles” and housed him with their horses.

“Sprinkles’s best friend is our pink gelding,” said Gerhart. “They basically go everywhere together.”