Seven dogs and three cats were removed from a home in the Germantown section of the city Tuesday night after police found evidence of a dog fighting ring, authorities said.
Police were called for a domestic disturbance at the 6300 block of North Norwood Street around 4 p.m., and discovered the dogs – a mix of pit bulls and bulldogs – with signs of old scarring including one with fresh wounds.
The SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Officers obtained a warrant, searched the premises and found blood splattered on the walls. Authorities also discovered what looked to be a fighting ring in a vacant home next door.
“If you go upstairs to the front bedroom, the bedroom is totally empty – there’s no furniture in there – but it was used as a ring. There’s blood all over the walls,” said the George Bengal, director of Humane Law Enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA, in a news release. “Dog fighting is a horrendous crime and animals suffer needlessly.”
All the dogs are being examined by the SPCA, and a forensic examine is underway.
Police took one man into custody after they found a stolen motorcycle, drugs and other weapons on the property.
No charges have been filed and the Pennsylvania SPCA continues to investigate.
Dog fighting in Philly?
The Pennsylvania SPCA investigates dog fighting rings in Philly on a routine basis, according to spokeswoman Wendy Marano.
Last year the group investigated in the neighborhood of 1,000 reports of dogfighting in Philly.
“It’s very prominent, it’s very lucrative,” she said.
Often the SPCA will find breeding records, and some dogs can fetch as much as $40 or $50,000. The SPCA has seen the number of dog fighting cases in the city more than double in the last 4 to 5 years.
“And they’re very tied into narcotics, illegal gambling weapons,” she said. “It’s very tied into the whole underground crime situation.”
But dog fighting in urban areas?
“It’s a perfect place to have it,” she said, “Because the dogs actually make very little noise.”
There are also a lot of abandoned buildings where animals can be stored.
At the end of January, the SPCA found six fresh carcasses in an abandonded South Philadelphia building that were suspected to had been involved in dog fighting.
“It’s really very prevalent, and it’s very big in urban areas. The fights will move from place to place to place, and usually if it’s in the neighborhood it will only sound like there’s a party going on.”
“The dogs are actually very quiet,” she said. “It’s very easy to hide in plain sight.”