Thursday, January 22, 2009

Police Bust Alleged Dogfighting Ring In Strawberry Mansion - PA

PHILADELPHIA -- Eight dogs are now evidence in a criminal investigation. Police say they were bred to fight.

SWAT and SPCA officers arrived to the 2500 block of North Dover Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city after a neighbor called police Wednesday afternoon.

Police said an officer saw a dogfight in progress when he looked through the window of the row home.

"The officers came. One officer actually went up the alley here and looked through the back window and that's where he saw and heard the dogfighting going on," said Lt. Michael-Jerry Lee of Philadelphia Police.

Six adult dogs and two puppies were recovered from the scene that police described as a "bloody mess." Five were found chained in the basement.

"A few of them were limping and you saw blood on a few of the dogs," said Lt. Lee.

Four men inside the home were taken into custody. They face dogfighting charges.

SPCA officers said the dogs' injuries are relatively significant.

“The basement seems to be set-up for keeping dogs separated. Appears to be, they have a kennel-type set-up. All the dogs are chained in separate corners. Living room-area appears to be where they were fighting the dogs,” said Derrick Schlitter of Pennsylvania SPCA.

Investigators said the four arrested could have broad connections so there may be more arrests to come.

"It's very rare that you get an actual fight in progress. So the neighbor did a good thing by calling. It's good that we got out here in time," said Schlitter.

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