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4 pit bulls rescued from Philly dogfight, 14 arrested, PSPCA says

Four pit bulls were recovered after PSPCA and Philly police raid "dogfight in progress."
PSPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers are seen breaking up a dogfight on South 35th Street near Grays Ferry Avenue on March 10, 2018, inside a wooden dogfighting ring with blood spatter visible. (Courtesy of the PSPCA)

A Saturday night dogfight in Southwest Philly ended in a draw when law enforcement broke up the fight and rescued the pit bulls involved.

The Pennsylvania SPCA's Humane Law Enforcement team said they and the Philadelphia Police broke up the dogfight and made 14 arrests during the raid on March 10 around 9 p.m. at an alleged dogfight on the 1200 block of South 35th Street, just below Grays Ferry Avenue.

None of the suspects have been publicly identified. Two pit bulls in the midst of the fighting were rescued.

"The dogs were actively fighting," said PSPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement Nicole Wilson. "I had blood all over me because I separated the dogs. … A police officer was helping me, using his retractable baton to pry the one dog's mouth open."

Wilson said a tip led the PSPCA to the scene, where they monitored from the outside as participants brought a rug inside to protect the floor from blood. They also saw the animals and a group of people, some of whom were recognized from past involvement in dogfighting, before contacting the Philadelphia Police Department for backup.

"Some of them guys we've seen multiple times — others were from out of state," Wilson said. "Once everybody was inside, we approached the outside and started hearing the cheering and the dogs going at it."

Together, Philly Police and PSPCA officers entered the location to break up the fight and rescue the dogs. Recovered were two handguns, around $8,000 in cash, some marijuana and "a wooden fighting ring with blood spatter," the PSPCA said. All 14 suspects in attendance at the game were arrested.

The two pit bulls who had been fighting were rushed to the PSPCA's Erie Avenue shelter for medical treatment.

Search warrants executed early Sunday morning of two suspects' vehicles led to the discovery of two other pit bulls believed to be involved in dogfighting. One was wearing a weighted collar for training, which is considered dogfighting paraphernalia. The other was ill and was found with scarring on his body that likely indicates a history of fighting, Wilson said.

All four dogs will remain in PSPCA custody for medical treatment, and until the criminal case is adjudicated.

The Pennsylvania SPCA's Humane Law Enforcement Team is 100 percent donor-funded. To support them, visit pspca.org/BengalFund.