PSPCA breaks up dog fighting ring in Philadephia

PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Team broke up a dog fight in progress Saturday night in South Philadelphia, the organization said in a statement on its website.

The fight was found on the 1200 block of South 35th Street late Saturday night.

The PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Team’s investigation led them to the location, where they put the property under surveillance. Once it became clear there was dogfighting occurring, the PSPCA notified Philadelphia Police to request assistance. Members of the PSPCA and Philadephia Police officers entered the ring and broke up the fight, rescued the dogs, and apprehended 14 suspects.

Police then obtained a search warrant for the premises. A search recovered drugs, two firearms, a large amount of cash and a wooden fighting ring “with blood spatter,” the PSPCA said in its release.

 

The two dogs who were actively fighting — both pitbulls — were transported to the PSPCA’s Philadelphia headquarters on Erie Avenue for treatement of injuries sustained in the fight. Both dogs are in stable condition, and will remain in custody of the PSPCA until they are signed over by their owners or the matter is adjudicated in court, the PSPCA says.

Dogfighting is a felony crime, the PSPCA says.

Police also searched a suspect’s vehicle, where they found another dog, wearing a weighted collar consistent with dogfighting, the PSPCA says. That dog was also taken into PSPCA custody.

Another dog was recovered from a different vehicle on the scene. That dog, which showed signs of illness, was taken to the shelter for medical assessment and treatment, the PSPCA says.

 

“Cases like this remind us that while we may not always hear about it, dog fighting is still happening in the city of Philadelphia,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of the Humane Law Enforcement at the PSPCA, in the release. “Our team has boots on the ground 365 days a year, investigating cases like this, and working to bring those involved to justice. We are grateful to the Philadelphia Police Department for their assistance in this case, and will work to prosecute these offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”

 

Anyone with information about this case, the whereabouts of those involved, or other cases of animal cruelty, is urged to call the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Cruelty Hotline at (866) 601-SPCA. Tips can be left anonymously.