Pennsylvania SPCA officers on Tuesday seized 43 suspected cockfighting birds from two properties in the city’s Kensington section, the nonprofit agency said.
Based on reports from the Philadelphia police and the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia, PSPCA officers executed two search warrants at adjoining properties in the 3100 block of Weymouth Street and “found birds consistent with those being used and bred for fighting as well as paraphernalia,” the agency said.
The seized birds were taken to the PSPCA’s headquarters for health evaluations. They will remain with the agency until they are signed over by the suspected offenders, who were not identified, or the case is adjudicated in court.
Animal fighting is a felony in Pennsylvania. It also is a misdemeanor to possess paraphernalia used for animal fighting.
“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," said Nicole Wilson, director of humane law enforcement at the Pennsylvania SPCA, in a statement.
“We hope that by shining a light on this case and bringing the offenders to justice, we can deter the commission of future crimes.”