Ripping a page from the Michael Vick playbook on dog torture?
In Chester County, a couple has been charged with running what authorities called a "house of horrors" for pit bulls who failed in the fighting ring. Police say Laura Acampora and Shane Santiago electrocuted, drowned and hanged dogs who did not perform, activities that took place with children in the home. Police say Santiago admitted to killing 10 dogs, including one that was burned alive in his cage. More from the Inquirer here.
Repeat dog fighting offender raided
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania SPCA agents yesterday executed a search warrant at a suspected dog fighting operation on the 6000 block of Allman Street in West Philadelphia. Officers expect to rescue at least five dogs. In addition to the animals, a large amount of suspected dog fighting paraphernalia including a treadmill and a fighting ring have been found. The owner of the property has a history of dog fighting and is under investigation again. Animal fighting is a felony of the third degree in Pennsylvania.
Both of these cases come as Pennsylvania lawmakers introduce a bill increasing the penalties for animal cruelty. he bill would raise the grading for all summary offenses under Section 5511 (Cruelty to Animals) to a misdemeanor of the third degree and raises the grading for the offense of killing, maiming or disfiguring a domestic animal or fowl from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree. Subsequent offenses for killing, maiming or disfiguring a domestic animal or fowl would result in a felony of the third degree.
NJ man charged with cruelty in pigeon shoot
A New Jersey contractor is in court today outside Harrisburg on charges that he committed animal cruelty when he slammed a wounded pigeon on his vehicle during a live pigeon shoot at the Erdman Sportsman's Association. The incident was caught on videotape by SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness(SHark)a group advocating for a ban on the shoots. The attorney representing Richard Pieros of Readington told My Central Jersey that the charges were “ongoing harassment against an activity which is lawful."
Cat caretaker found guilty of hoarding in Mississippi
A 78-year-old woman participating in a humane society-sanctioned feral cat management program in Biloxi was found guilty of "hoarding." Dawn Summers was caring for a colony of 27 cats, most of them spayed and neutered, when she was charged for exceeding the city's six-cat limit. Alley Cat Allies, the only national feral cat advocacy group, came to her defense and the case is under appeal. "This conviction is a travesty,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Ms. Summers had been working within a city-approved program, providing an extremely valuable community service by ensuring that feral cats in her neighborhood were neutered and vaccinated, and stabilizing the population."