7 Dead Cats in Bag, 3 Beheaded Chickens Found on North Fork

Seven dead cats were found Thursday in a duffle bag nine hours after three beheaded chickens were found in bags, both on opposite ends of the North Fork, Suffolk County authorities said.

The partly plucked decapitated chickens were found in plastic bags on the railroad tracks near Hubbard Avenue in Riverhead at 10:30 a.m., according to Suffolk County SPCA officials, who suspect the chickens were killed as part of a ritual.

“Unjustifiably slaughtering an animal is a crime,” Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk SPCA, said of the chickens. “This will not be tolerated.”

Southold Town police officers found the dead cats after responding to a report of a strong odor coming from a duffle bag on the beach in Orient at 7:40 p.m. Thursday, authorities said. That case is not believed to be related or involve a ritual.

“Think about a child walking and seeing something like that,” Gross said. “It’s something they’ll never forget. It’s bad enough an adult sees it.”

A $2,000 reward is being offered for information in the chicken case.

Suffolk SPCA investigators ask anyone with information about either case to call them at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.