Animal News

Dallas Police Department busts cockfight and arrests 40-plus spectators

Dallas Police Department busts cockfight, arrests 40-plus spectators

SPCA cockfighting southeast dallas
Roosters were found in cages in a heavily wooded area. SPCA

Dallas authorities busted in on another cockfight, this one in southeast Dallas. The fight was staged over Memorial Day weekend on May 24, when the SPCA of Texas and the Dallas Police Department interrupted the cockfight in progress at a residence and seized 388 birds, including 128 roosters, 183 chicks, 49 hens, and 28 deceased birds.

A large barn contained a makeshift fighting ring where the cockfights took place, along with numerous chicks within a locked stall. Several roosters appeared to be lethargic and severely injured with multiple wounds. Other birds were found dead from fighting.

The live animals were taken to two locations: the SPCA of Texas' Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas and the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney. They'll be cared for until a civil custody hearing takes place.

Dallas Police Department officers wrote over 40 tickets to spectators, and are working to charge multiple suspects with possessing paraphernalia and/or roosters with the intent to fight. Both are Class A misdemeanors. The Dallas Police Department's Animal Cruelty Unit will oversee the criminal case.

Roosters, hens, and chicks were kept in wire pens in a heavily wooded area outdoors. Roosters were also found in wooden enclosures and small wire crates in sheds. Other roosters were found inside of boxes used for transport.

Medications, a scale, and a cabinet full of paraphernalia, including slashers and gaffs, were also found.

Cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states, including Texas. In Texas, it is a felony; unfortunately, it is only punishable by up to two years in a state jail and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

In Texas, it is 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.

There is currently a partnership between the Dallas Police Department and the SPCA to bring animal cruelty perpetrators to justice. The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Animal Services identify the cases. The Dallas Police Department's Animal Cruelty Unit oversees the investigation. The SPCA of Texas provides housing and medical care.

Previous seizures include a 2017 case in southeast Dallas, and three cases in Balch Springs, including one in 2019 in which 176 animals were seized.