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Pennsylvania SPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement, George Bengal, first started his career of fighting for justice as a Philadelphia police officer. During his years as a cop, Bengal discovered his devotion to animals and their welfare, working tirelessly as a leader of Humane Law Enforcement. His work has saved and found homes for thousands of abused animals, and he has helped bring hundreds of criminals to justice.
Sadly, Bengal's work will soon be coming to an end. The director, who has bolstered law enforcement operations of several Pennsylvania shelters, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and only has a few months to live. To honor Bengal's work, which has changed the national fight against animal cruelty, the Pennsylvania SPCA is highlighting just a few of the countless pets he rescued and encouraging others to remember the heroic dedication of this amazing man.
One of the animals fortunate enough to cross paths with Bengal is Lexi, a pit bull found while officers were on a call for a sick cat.
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While responding to a complaint about a sick cat in a basement, officers observed an emaciated Lexi through a broken basement window. Immediately, the officers went to get a search warrant to remove the dog. The stairs to the basement of the property were falling apart and the owners would throw food to the dog from the door. After gaining entrance to the home, the officers charged Lexi's owner with cruelty to animals.
Lexi was surrendered and rushed back to the Pennsylvania SPCA's shelter hospital for emergency care. When she was strong enough, a surgery was performed to remove the debris and foreign material stuck in her system that she had eaten while starving. Lexi spent months recovering at the shelter, ultimately finding her forever home in January of 2014.
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George Bengal and officer Darlene Sosa responded to the basement of an apartment complex in Philadelphia on Dec. 23, 2014, to find an extremely emaciated dog clinging to life next to an artificial Christmas tree. A warrant was issued, the dog was removed, and the owner was arrested. He ultimately pled guilty to animal cruelty.
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Santa Paws was nursed back to health by the PSPCA's shelter hospital and made a full recovery. He found his forever home shortly after the holidays.
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Early one Saturday morning, the PSPCA's Humane Law Enforcement received a call of a cat lit on fire. Upon arrival, the suspects had fled, and the cat had made its way to a nearby porch. After securing the terrified cat, he was rushed back to the shelter hospital to receive care. The cat had many injuries including burns to his head, ears and back. He had a large wound on his hind leg and his whiskers were singed. The cat was friendly with the veterinary staff despite the pain of his injuries. A check up revealed Campbell had a microchip. The PSPCA found his owners, who said the cat had been lost over 3 months ago, and surrendered him to the custody of the PSPCA.
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Thanks to two witnesses who came forward, the location of the incident was found and a search warrant was executed on the house where the witness saw the suspect exit with lighter fluid. With the help of the Philadelphia Police Department, body warrants were issued and both suspects were quickly taken into custody for burning Campbell. Stephen Paslawski, a lieutenant with the Philadelphia Fire Department was moved by Campbell's story and ultimately adopted him. Though his recovery was slow, Campbell was a fighter and even regrew his beautiful coat. He received justice through the court system and more than that, found the loving home he deserves.
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A Humane Law Enforcement officer contacted George Bengal after a dog was found emaciated and covered in flies in a yard. The dog was in such poor condition that he was unable to walk. George approved exigent removal of the dog due to danger of death. A warrant was obtained and the house was searched, and in that time, another puppy was rescued from the flea-infested property.
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The owner of the suffering dogs came to the shelter in search of his pets, slamming the door so hard that the window broke. George ensured the negligent owner received the right citations, which included animal cruelty and destroying property. He was found guilty of both at trial. The dog made a full recovery and was adopted by a local man who enrolled in training classes with the pup.
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George Bengal led an undercover investigation to save a dog, after receiving a complaint about a pup stuck in a rear yard full of aluminum cans. Bengal found Sammy, his ears cut off with scissors and his head dyed purple with an over-the-counter antiseptic. The dog was removed by warrant and the owner was arrested. One of the PSPCA staff members fell in love with Sammy while he was receiving care at the facility, and adopted Sammy after he made a full recovery.
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