Maplewood veterinarian Dr. Ernest Rogers is the state’s first forensic veterinarian, working for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA) to help law enforcement officers gather and present evidence in cases involving animals. His job is similar to the work depicted on the popular television series CSI, but Rogers volunteers his time for the NJSPCA. He spoke with NJToday’s Desiree Taylor about his work.
While the NJSPCA is a government agency, it receives no funding, relying on donations. Rogers says even if a case garners a conviction, sometimes the limited funds and resources only allow follow-through to a certain point. But he hopes his work will send the message that people are not going to get away with animal crimes. Seventy people work for the NJSPCA, mainly agents and officers, and handle about 5,000 cases per year. Cases include instances when animals have been shot and burglaries where animals have been injured. Because of the increasing complexity, NJSPCA officials decided an expert like Rogers was needed.