PSPCA animal watch 9/26

The following are some of the recent cases investigated by the Pennsylvania SPCA. Headquartered at 350 E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, the PSPCA operates one branch shelter in Danville but its humane officers investigate cruelty elsewhere in the state. For more information, call 215-426-6300 or visit To report animal cruelty call 1-866-601-SPCA.



A pit bull was found Sept. 18 tied to a mattress in a trash-filed North Phila. backyard. Photo/PSPCA

UPDATE: Two individuals have been charged with animal cruelty in connection with the two emaciated dogs found buried in a trash-filled yard in North Philadelphia. CBS News reports that Eric Smallwood, Senior, 34, and his son, 19-year-old Eric, Jr. were cited for animal cruelty and the PSPCA says at least three more people will get citations. When PSPCA humane officer George Bengal arrived at the scene he found the starving dogs that were no more than "skin over bones." They also found a starving cat inside. Police alerted the PSPCA to the animals they discovered while serving a warrant on a 41-year-old woman living at the house who was wanted on assault charges. The pit bulls came out with their tails wagging and were taken to the PSPCA for treatment.

Tioga, Pa., Sept. 10, Officers executed a search warrant at an alleged horse rescue located in a remote area of Tioga County. Officers observed a total of 13 living horses confined to two paddocks with no accessible pasture and the remnants of previously collapsed shelters at J&J Horse Rescue. Four horses were deceased upon arrival, two of which were transported by the PSPCA to Cornell University Pathology Department for necropsy. The majority of the horses were underweight and two had been denied veterinary care previously ordered by the officer. These two horses were removed and transported by officers to the Danville Pennsylvania SPCA location where they are currently receiving necessary medical care. The PSPCA said charges will be filed against owner Jeff Wilson.

Woodhaven Rd., 3100 block, Aug. 16. An officer responded to complaints of an opossum and multiple dogs being kept in unsanitary conditions. The owner claimed responsibility for two dogs, but stated he did not have an opossum. Due to wildlife involvement, the Pennsylvania Game Commissioner was contacted and arrived at the scene shortly. Again, the owner denied having an opossum and would not allow inspection of the home by either officer. Several minutes later, the suspect was observed emerging from his home carrying a large duffle bag, which he placed into a truck and drove off. The suspect was shortly apprehended and arrested by the officers. A large opossum was found inside the duffle bag. Suspect has been charged with illegal possession of wildlife, transporting animals in a cruel manner, and tampering with physical evidence. The opossum is being cared for by a wildlife sanctuary.

“D” Street, 4500 block, Sept. 12. Officers responded to a complaint of strong odors and stray cats surrounding the property. The home owner allowed inspection of the interior. Upon entry there was an intense odor of cat urine and ammonia, and numerous cats ran around the room. The property was infested with roaches, fleas, and other insects. Excessive feces and urine covered the floor. The officers were able to trap and remove eighteen cats, many of which appeared to be underweight. Traps were set and left for the remaining cats. The owner was cooperative, surrendered all cats over to the PSPCA and plans to clean the home. The cats will be available for adoption following medical assessment and necessary treatment from Pennsylvania SPCA medical staff.

Keyser Street, 4900 block, Sept. 9. Officers responded to the residence after receiving information that a dog was abandoned inside a crate with no food or water. Upon arrival, officers observed a medium size brown and white pit bull mix inside a wire crate filled with feces, urine, and brown water. Officers obtained a search warrant, then returned and removed the dog from the home. At the time of entry, the house was unoccupied and appeared to be abandoned. Paperwork was left at the property and the investigation continues. The dog was safely moved without incident.

Parrish Street, 4800 Block. Sept. 3, Officers responded to a call stating a dog was being abused. The man who came to the door presented a Pomeranian type dog to the officer, which appeared to be in good condition. When asked if other animals were present, the man showed the officer a white and tan Jack Russell mix dog that was emaciated with bony protrusions of the ribs and spine. A deep laceration extended across the chest and beneath both arms. The wound was infected and appeared to expose muscle. The owner stated he had the dog a few weeks and this must have developed recently. He stated the dog was not injured when he originally obtained it. The owner agreed to relinquish ownership and signed over the dog to the officer. At this time the dog is receiving medical treatment at the PSPCA and will be available for adoption following her recovery.