PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One person was arrested after Philadelphia police and the Pennsylvania SPCA busted an alleged cockfighting ring at a home in the Kensington section of the city. Authorities are focused on two properties on the 3100 block of Weymouth Street — one vacant and one occupied.
Birds are now being removed from house on Weymouth Street pic.twitter.com/IhCmH8zgec
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeNews) October 8, 2019
Police officers were serving a warrant early Tuesday morning when police spotted the birds. Officials with the PSPCA say the birds were consistent with those being used and bred for fighting.
“We cannot stand for animal fighting to take place in our city,” said Nicole Wilson, the PSPCA’s director of humane law enforcement. “Animal fighting is a brutal crime, one in which the victims so often suffer fatal injuries. Allowing animals to die for sport is simply an unacceptable practice that continues to occur every day in our city and throughout the state. We hope that by shining a light on this case and bringing the offenders to justice, we can deter the commission of future crimes.”
Suspect Felix Valentin was arrested and is facing felony animal cruelty charges. His mother declined to go on camera but told Eyewitness News that he owns cockatoos and parakeets, but they were not involved in any fighting.
Neighbors were shocked as they watched officers remove dozens of birds from the homes.
“I always figure it was something they were doing,” neighbor Norman Segers said. “I was like, ‘There’s no farm, guy is not selling birds.'”
The birds were taken to the PSPCA’s headquarters to be evaluated.