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Suffolk County SPCA: Possible Ritualistic Killing After 3 Dead Chickens Found In Riverhead

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The Suffolk County SPCA is investigating another incident involving the possible ritualistic killing of animals.

Three chickens were found with their heads cut off and partially plucked inside plastic bags on the railroad tracks near Hubbard Avenue in Riverhead, Chief Roy Gross said.

"Unjustifiably slaughtering an animal is a crime and this will not be tolerated," Gross said. "This has been happening too often and is not the kind of thing we want our children to find."

The Suffolk County SPCA said it will be handing out flyers to residents amid an increase in incidents involving ritualistic animal sacrifice in the county.

In late June, three goats were found beheaded and dumped at the Otis Pike Preserve on Line Road in Riverhead. The SPCA said fresh fruits and vegetables were also dumped near the remains, suggesting the incident was ritualistic in nature.

On another occasion, dead roosters were discovered hanging from a tree at the intersection of Spur Dive South and Freeman Avenue in Islip.

Gross said the agency is not targeting any religions, they just want to stop these killings.

"It doesn't matter what their religion is, that's not our concern," he said. "Our concern is unjustifiably killing an animal."

A $1,000 reward is being offered by the Suffolk County SPCA for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for animal slaughter.

The New York State Humane Association is also offering a $1,000 reward.

Anyone with information can call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.

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