INSIDE EDITION Investigates Animal Abuse and Hoarding
INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero was given access to the efforts of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) as they worked the streets of Philadelphia, crawling into car windows, combing through garbage filled alleys for evidence, and saving the lives of horribly abused animals.
Guerrero tailed Officer Rich Loos as he seized a dog he suspected was being neglected.
Guerrero pointed out, "There's feces everywhere."
"Unfortunately this isn't the worst I've seen," replied Loos.
Just a day before that, he found a sick and lethargic puppy in the backyard of a city home. He believes the puppy may have been poisoned.
"When I first saw it, I thought it was dead," said Loos of the 3 month old pup.
Sadly, the dog had to be euthanized.
They later returned to rescue the mother and possibly save her from a similar fate.
Guerrero asked, "How many cases do you have a year?"
Officer Loos said, "In Pennsylvania, there were 13,000 cases. So you never know what you are going to walk into."
In one horrific case, two teenagers recorded themselves on a cell phone as they stuffed a cat in a microwave and tossed it out a window. Thank goodness the cat survived. Those foolish young men were charged with animal cruelty.
While INSIDE EDITION was there, the SPCA responded to a call that even shocked them. It was a tip about an abandoned vehicle. When the officers got there, they found a family of cats living in disgusting conditions inside a van. The officers dug in and pulled out cat, after cat, after cat. 18 in all, living in one van.
"This is just something else. This is bizarre," exclaimed Officer Loos.
Some of the cats were very sick. One had a huge gash on its neck. One was missing an eye, and another had brain damage.
Guerrero became visibly upset when she saw all the suffering.
There were so many cats that the officers ran out of crates to hold them all. And that wasn't all. They also found five cats locked inside another car abandoned on the lot.
Night had fallen by the time all the cats were rounded up. When the van was finally opened all the way, the stench was unbearable.
George Bengal, who is in charge of the Pennsylvania SPCA officers, told INSIDE EDITION, "This is a psychological problem in my view and they definitely need help."
Officer Loos said, "You can't save them all but if I can save one a day, it makes it worth it."
The Pennsylvania SPCA is funded entirely by donations. They do not receive any government support. For more information on how you can help, go to www.pspca.org.