By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The fight against animal cruelty in Philadelphia is getting national exposure in a National Geographic (“Nat Geo”) channel show airing Monday nights at 9 pm.

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For eight months, video crews followed Philadelphia animal cops on their rounds:  “The Pennsylvania SPCA undercover unit, a crack team of highly specialized cops, waging war on extreme animal cruelty,” the show’s announcer intones.

Everything from dog- and bird-fighting to pet hoarding.   The result is the series, “Philly Undercover.”

“Animal fighting, especially, has escalated in the last three to four years, and animal cruelty, just across the board, has also escalated,” notes Pennsylvania SPCA chief investigator George Bengal (center of photo).

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And here in Philadelphia, Bengal adds, there’s always the shadow of the most famous ex-dog fighter, Michael Vick.

“Obviously him being engaged in this put it out there in the forefront so people know this goes on,” Bengal tells KYW Newsradio.  He says that the worst hoarding case he ever saw was a home with 110 chihuahuas.

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