PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) – Twenty-one suspects were arrested after a cockfighting ring was busted in Port Richmond, according to the PSPCA. The PSPCA says police called the Humane Law Enforcement Team to assist in breaking up an illegal cockfight on the 2100 block of East Ann Street at 11:32 p.m. Friday.
PSPCA Officers, along with police, seized over 100 birds, both living and deceased, during the bust.
Paraphernalia for cockfighting was also found at the home.
Authorities say officers chased down several suspects who tried to flee the scene on foot. Four suspects suffered broken ankles when they tried to climb over a 30-foot wall.
Police arrested 21 people, the PSPCA says.
All of the birds seized were transported to the PSPCA’s Erie Avenue Headquarters where they will be evaluated by the PSPCA’s veterinary team.
They will remain in protective custody until they are signed over by the offenders or adjudicated by the courts.
“Animal fighting is a brutal crime, one in which the victims, whether they be dogs or in this case birds, fight to death,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of Humane Law Enforcement at the Pennsylvania SPCA. “Though even the possession of fighting paraphernalia carries a misdemeanor charge, these horrific practices continue to occur in Philadelphia and throughout the state. We hope that by shinning a light on this case and bringing the offenders to justice, we can deter the commission of future crimes.”
Anyone with information about this case, or other cases involving animal cruelty, should call the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Cruetly Hotline at 866-601-SPCA. Tips can be left anonymously.
(©Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)