Lawncrest: Dogfight Raid Surprises Residents

Lawncrest residents said they are suprised two people were arrested Wednesday on charges related to dog fighting.
Lawncrest residents said they are surprised two people were arrested Wednesday in a dog- fighting raid.

Sheryle Nash said she never knew her family lived near a basement stained with dog blood.

“The neighborhood is already messed up,” Nash said. “I didn’t know people ever [held dogfights] around here.”

Police and Pennsylvania SPCA officers arrested two people Wednesday evening from a house on the 400 block of East Cheltenham Avenue. Animal protection officers seized eight dogs and equipment they said were used for fighting and training, including a treadmill.

Police Sgt. Jim Connell accompanied SPCA officers during the raid. Connell said the basement walls and floor were covered with dried dog blood.

“You could just smell [the blood],” Connell said. “It was terrible.”

Crime is bad in her neighborhood, Nash complained, “unless they start releasing the dogs on us.”

John Perillo said the dog-fighting arrests also surprised him. Perillo is a 16-year-resident of Lawndale who attends every Lawncrest civic meeting.

“Nobody suspected the barks of anything because people just thought it was a guy with eight dogs,” Perillo said.

SPCA officers and police arrested 17 people in dog-fighting raids last week. The SPCA raided the Lawncrest house with a search warrant after they busted a dog-fighting ring in South Philadelphia and Kensington.

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