HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Suffolk County SPCA is offering training for members of the public willing to serve as volunteer animal welfare investigators.

Chief Roy Gross said the move follows a recent upsurge in animal cruelty cases, including apparent ritualistic killings in which chickens and goats were found beheaded.

READ MORE: NYPD: Tourist From Ohio Wounded In Shooting Inside Manhattan 7-Eleven

“We will train them how to investigate these cases,” Gross told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “If they have law enforcement experience, that’s that much better.”

Volunteers will have to pass a background check.

READ MORE: MTA Set To Resume 24/7 Subway Service Early Monday

The training will include various aspects of the law; writing reports; and courtroom testimony.

Gross said the SPCA also needs other volunteers, including someone to answer hotline calls.

MORE NEWS: Confused About COVID-19 Mask Guidance? Here's The Current State Of Play In New York City

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)