The Pennsylvania SPCA removed 25 dogs, four horses, a cat, a goat and multiple reptiles, in two separate raids in a 48-hour period in Philadelphia.

Today four emaciated horses were seized from a muddy, manure-filled lot in West Philadelphia. The horses were in the 3900 block of Ogden Street, at a vacant lot that held recently erected makeshift stables, officials said. The horses had no available food, clean water or adequate shelter.

The PSPCA said officers had left numerous warnings about the conditions at the lot, but no one contacted them, nor did the situation improve.

"Ownership of the horses is still under investigation at this time," and no charges have yet been filed, said George Bengal, the PSPCA's director of law enforcement. The horses are in protective custody and not available for adoption.


On Monday PSPCA officers raided an illegal pet shop and kennel in Hunting Park, seizing 25 dogs, an alligator, several large snakes, lizards, a turtle and a cat.

Officers first went to Sonny Black's Pet Shop in the 5300 block of N. 5th St. in response to complaints about someone selling sick dogs. They found 16 dogs, the cat and the reptiles. An agent purchased a chihuahua that was dehydrated and infested with worms. "It was not in good shape," said Bengal. "The animals were living in unsanitary conditions without food or water." Not only was the owner operating an unlicensed pet store, but he was illegally selling reptiles which is against the law in Philadelphia.

Agents then got a search warrant for the pet shop owner's home in the 2000 block of W. Tioga St. which also housed a breeding kennel. They found nine dogs at the Marshall Law Kennels location who were in worse condition than those at the pet shop, Bengal said. The kennel, which bred large breed dogs such as Cane Corsos, had been licensed by the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement since 2007 and received passing inspections by dog warden Rick Martrich. A closing inspection was conducted by warden Joseph Loughlin on November 20 and noted there were no dogs on the premises.

Bengal said cruelty charges are likely pending the outcome of veterinary exams. The dogs were surrendered by the owner so they will be available for adoption. Bengal also said agents are still trying to determine the owner's name after evidence showed the invidual uses many aliases.