Berks County, PA -  A cockfighting ring in the Bernville area was shut down Thursday after the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received a tip about the brutal animal fights, officials with the organization said.
One person was arrested in connection with the rooster fights and for other instances of animal cruelty, said Sarah Eremus, PSPCA communications and marketing manager.

Officials did not release the man's name or the location of the farm Thursday afternoon because they were still securing the scene and transporting animals back to the agency's headquarters in Philadelphia, Eremus said.

"It (cockfighting) does happen more often than we would like it to and it is a very brutal sport," she said. "It's a felony offense."

The PSPCA also rescued about 50 to 60 birds, a goat, a horse and four dogs based on animal cruelty violations. There was a dead goat found on the property in addition to the live animals.

Officers were investigating the cockfighting allegations as well as unsanitary confinement, failure to provide veterinary care and failure to provide adequate sustenance, officials said.

Investigators found hundreds of animals housed in different buildings on the farm and evidence of the cockfighting and cockfighting paraphernalia.

"They've been there all day rescuing the animals," Eremus said. "There is still a lot of (animal) fighting here in Pennsylvania. It happens everywhere so that's something we're trying to end."

The PSPCA broke up a different cockfighting ring in Philadelphia about a month ago, Eremus said.

The animals will be checked out by a forensic veterinary team and treated in the Philadelphia headquarters. The PSPCA will house the animals and care for them until litigation is completed or the owner signs his rights to them over to the organization, Eremus said.

"Animal cruelty knows no boundaries," organization CEO Jerry Buckley said in a official release. "Fortunately, the PSPCA is equipped to handle large, complex cases like this."

The PSPCA extended its area coverage into Berks County earlier this year. This is its first time breaking up a cockfighting ring in the county, but in May they rescued five extremely sick Irish Setters from a breeder in Bernville, Eremus said.

Reading attorney Paul Ober was charged with animal cruelty in the May 22 investigation. That case is still ongoing.

Contact Rochel Leah Goldblatt: 610-371-5024 or rgoldblatt@readingeagle.com.

A cockfighting ring in the Bernville area was shut down Thursday after the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received a tip about the brutal animal fights, officials with the organization said.

One person was arrested in connection with the rooster fights and for other instances of animal cruelty, said Sarah Eremus, PSPCA communications and marketing manager.Officials did not release the man's name or the location of the farm Thursday afternoon because they were still securing the scene and transporting animals back to the agency's headquarters in Philadelphia, Eremus said."It (cockfighting) does happen more often than we would like it to and it is a very brutal sport," she said. "It's a felony offense."The PSPCA also rescued about 50 to 60 birds, a goat, a horse and four dogs based on animal cruelty violations. There was a dead goat found on the property in addition to the live animals.Officers were investigating the cockfighting allegations as well as unsanitary confinement, failure to provide veterinary care and failure to provide adequate sustenance, officials said.Investigators found hundreds of animals housed in different buildings on the farm and evidence of the cockfighting and cockfighting paraphernalia."They've been there all day rescuing the animals," Eremus said. "There is still a lot of (animal) fighting here in Pennsylvania. It happens everywhere so that's something we're trying to end."The PSPCA broke up a different cockfighting ring in Philadelphia about a month ago, Eremus said.The animals will be checked out by a forensic veterinary team and treated in the Philadelphia headquarters. The PSPCA will house the animals and care for them until litigation is completed or the owner signs his rights to them over to the organization, Eremus said."Animal cruelty knows no boundaries," organization CEO Jerry Buckley said in a official release. "Fortunately, the PSPCA is equipped to handle large, complex cases like this."The PSPCA extended its area coverage into Berks County earlier this year. This is its first time breaking up a cockfighting ring in the county, but in May they rescued five extremely sick Irish Setters from a breeder in Bernville, Eremus said.Reading attorney Paul Ober was charged with animal cruelty in the May 22 investigation. That case is still ongoing.Contact Rochel Leah Goldblatt: 610-371-5024 or rgoldblatt@readingeagle.com. - See more at: http://readingeagle.com/news/article/cockfighting-ring-shut-down-in-bernville-area#sthash.5xPS9Obt.dpuf