Pennsylvania SPCA officers are searching the yard of a North Philadelphia home where on Sunday they found the bones of possibly several hundred animals apparently sacrificed as part of Santeria rituals.
Liz Williamson, a spokeswoman for the SPCA, said the animal welfare agency had obtained a warrant to conduct the search of the rear yard of the property on the 4800 block of North Front Street in Feltonville.
No one has been arrested following the earlier find and the owner of the house was reported to be in Mexico.
Remains found when PSPCA officers went to the house to rescue two emaciated dogs on Sunday included birds and small monkeys. They also found an AK-47 rifle.
Whoever was responsible for taking care of the dogs faces summary-offense charges of lack of veterinary care and unsanitary confinement, said George Bengal, the PSPCA's law enforcement director. Each citation - two for each dog - carries a $750 fine.
Officers also took the remains of what appeared to be several cats and dogs from the home and if can be shown that they were killed, whoever was responsible could face misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges and potential jail time, Bengal said.
The killing of animals such as chickens or goats, when performed as part of a religious ritual, cannot be prosecuted, Bengal said.