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NJSPCA Adds First-Ever 'Forensic Vet' To Its Staff

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is adding a new position to its staff that may be more familiar to fans of human-centered crime shows.

Dr. Ernest Rogers, of the Maplewood Animal Hospital, is joining the NJSPCA as its first ever "forensic veterinarian.''

Rogers will join the agency's law enforcement division to help it investigate animal abuses and solve crimes against animals.

Rogers told CBS2's Kathryn Brown that he's seen some horrible things, and that he uses the same type of crime scene investigation tactics, when solving animal cruelty, that police use when solving murders.

State animal welfare officials say veterinary forensics and animal crime scene investigations are growing specialties in veterinary medicine.

The SPCA says that's due in part to growing public awareness of animal abuse because of television shows like Animal Planet's "Animal Cops,'' and media coverage of high profile abuse cases.

The group says Rogers brings years of experience as an animal expert to the job.

"Dr. Rogers has already been a great asset to the NJSPCA and has contributed his expertise and has actively participated in a number of intensive cases and their investigations and adjudications resulting in convictions of animal abusers," said Col, Frank Rizzo, Superintendent, NJSPCA.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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