SPCA and Dallas police rescue 100-plus roosters used in cockfighting
UPDATE 2-18-2022: The SPCA of Texas was awarded custody of 133 birds. No one came to claim the birds and they will now be held for 10 days, as the law allows for any potential owner to potentially appeal the decision. Judge Valencia Nash awarded the SPCA $4,261.25 in restitution which the property owner will be responsible for paying.
The SPCA of Texas and the Dallas Police Department uncovered another cockfighting operation in southeast Dallas. According to a release, on February 12, the two agencies seized 133 birds from a former horse stable in southeast Dallas where a cockfight had recently taken place.
The SPCA of Texas took custody of the animals, which included 123 roosters, eight hens, and two deceased roosters, which were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas, where they will be evaluated by medical staff and cared for until a civil custody hearing takes place.
DPD's Animal Cruelty Unit will oversee the criminal case and press charges.
They DPD received an anonymous tip about a cockfight in progress. After arriving at the scene, officers contacted the DPD Animal Cruelty Unit and the SPCA of Texas to help remove the animals.
- Roosters were found throughout the property.
- Several roosters were found in an enclosure near the front of the property inside of wire cages in modified horse stalls.
- Several specialized boxes used to transport roosters to and from cockfights were found in various locations around the property.
- Other roosters were found outside, tethered to posts by strings attached to their legs.
- Deceased birds were found in various places throughout the property.
- A shed-type area that housed a plywood ring or pit where cockfights were presumed to take place was found close to the back of the property.
- A scale and cockfighting paraphernalia, including gaffs, were also found.
Other animals were found on the property but were not removed by law enforcement.
Horribly, many of the roosters appeared to be lethargic and severely injured with multiple wounds. Others were found already dead from injuries due to fighting.
Cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states including Texas, where it is a felony to cause birds to fight with one another and/or to use property for the purpose of cockfighting.
Unfortunately, even if you're found guilty, all you get is two years in a state jail and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
It's only a Class A misdemeanor to possess, manufacture, or sell cockfighting paraphernalia, 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.