3 Accused Of Animal Cruelty In Dog-fighting Case

Posted: May 22, 1986

In the third such incident in less than a week, Philadelphia youths were arrested yesterday on charges of cruelty to animals involving dog fighting, police said.

Three youths were arrested about 1:30 p.m. at a vacant house in the 2600 block of Seltzer Street in North Philadelphia, according to police, who said they found five pit bull terriers - two of them dead and the three others with numerous wounds - at the address.

The names of the three youths were withheld because of they are juveniles.

Police said the incident began when the owner of a vacant house nearby reported that the youths had been carrying property from that house to the one where the dogs were found. Police said the latter house had been vacant about four months and was being used as a clubhouse.

The three wounded dogs were turned over to the Women's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Police said the three youths, who live in the area, also were charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

Animal-cruelty investigators say that there has been an increasing frequency of dog fighting involving pit bull terriers in the area and that the number of pit bulls in the city has grown from virtually none five years ago to 2,300 to 3,000 today.

On Friday, animal-cruelty investigators obtained arrest warrants for five youths, ages 11 to 14, who allegedly were involved in dog fighting at a vacant house in the 600 block of West Huntingdon Street in North Philadelphia. The boys stole neighborhood dogs and matched them against the pit bulls, and also hung dogs that lost their fights, according to Sam McClain, an animal-cruelty investigator.

In another incident, five pit bulls were confiscated at a West Philadelphia house Saturday as their owners were preparing for a dog fight in a basement of a home in the 1200 block of North 60th Street. Officials said about 12 people found on the premises would be charged in the case.

On Saturday, animal-cruelty investigators and police raided the home of a Bucks County man, finding 11 pit bull terriers, many of them scarred, and 40 fighting cocks.

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