Animal house busted in Hunting Park

March 21, 2008 4:01:18 PM PDT
A shocking case of animal abuse was discovered in a Hunting Park house.It started out as a narcotics bust. Police raided two houses on North Reese Street. The ones who covered the back doors down an alley found dozens of neglected and starving animals.

Police called the SPCA and they found what amounts to an animal torture chamber.

You can't see it from the road and it's only accessible from an alleyway. The alley had been illegally blocked by a locked gate.

The officers found over 100 chickens, most of them roosters dressed for fighting.

There were a dozen ducks, a white goose, countless pigeons, and one endangered species, a peregrine falcon. They also found nine pit bulls. Two of them were dead puppies.

"It was pretty grim, all those animals in one spot like that, the smell was bad, the conditions were very unsanitary," SPCA humane officer Wayne Smith said.

The compound has an open courtyard where many of the animals were kept.

On the left side, an indoor arena with blood splattered walls set up for cockfighting.

The dogs showed signs that they were also used for fighting, cropped ears, basically hacked off, an excruciating procedure.

"Unless you're a licensed vet, it's a felony to crop a dog's ears, it's mutilation," SPCA humane officer Elizabeth Sorel said.

Police arrested four people on narcotics charges, and they are also likely to face animal cruelty charges.

The police say they were constantly harrassed by neighbors as they cleared out the animals.

The animals are now in the hands of the SPCA. They're being evaluated and treated for numerous symptoms of neglect and abuse.