On July 2, three Dallas agencies busted up a cockfight and seized a large number of roosters. The seizure was made by the SPCA of Texas, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office's Animal Cruelty Unit, and the Dallas Police Department, who took custody of 53 fighting roosters from a southeast Dallas cockfight.
Additionally, 32 deceased birds were found on the property.
Dallas Police Department officers were in a police helicopter on another assignment when they spotted the fight in the air. They contacted the SPCA of Texas, then broke up the cockfight in progress.
Eight people were detained and charged with class C misdemeanors for being spectators. Many others fled the scene on foot.
A search warrant was also served to search all of the vehicles on the property. This investigation turned up substantial evidence, and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office's Animal Cruelty Unit and the SPCA of Texas expect to issue arrest warrants for state jail felonies for cockfighting to several of them.
The birds were found in transport boxes, wire cages, and tethered to trees, bushes, and vehicles on the property. Dead roosters were found all over the property, some in garbage bags, others on the ground and in bushes among beer cans and other trash.
Some of the live birds appear to have feather loss and various injuries.
The SPCA of Texas loaded the animals for transport and took them to a secure location to provide the live birds with medical treatment and care until the custody hearing can take place.
The hearing will take place on July 7 at 11 am at the Dallas County Government Center Precinct 1, Place 2 courthouse located at 107 Texas St., Lancaster, with the Honorable Valencia Nash presiding.
Cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states, including Texas, where it is a felony, punishable by up to two years in a state jail and/or up to a $10,000 fine, to cause birds to fight with one another and/or to use property for the purpose of cockfighting.
In Texas, it is also a Class A misdemeanor to possess, manufacture, or sell cockfighting paraphernalia; a Class A misdemeanor to own or train a rooster with the intent to fight the bird; and a Class C misdemeanor to be a spectator at a cockfight. Federal law prohibits any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.