Monday, April 12, 2010

37 Roosters Euthanized in Cockfighting Ring Bust

KTLA News - (Riverside County Animal Services / April 11, 2010)

RIVERSIDE-- 40 roosters were retrieved and 30 people were cited when authorities busted an illegal cockfighting ring Sunday.

County sheriff's deputies and animal control officers stormed the ring in the 100,000 block of Avenue 72 in an incorporated area of Riverside County near the Salton Sea Sunday morning.

Three roosters involved in earlier battles were found bloodied and dead near a cockfighting pen, according to John Welsh of the Department of animal services.

Animal services officers had to euthanize the 37 other roosters found at the scene. It is not the department's policy to adopt cockfighting roosters.

The birds would end up back in illegal cockfighting rings, said Deputy Director Frank Corvino, who oversees Animal Services' field operations division.

Usually when cockfighting rings are busted, all of the participants scatter, said Sgt. James Huffman of Animal Services. However, the coordinated effort with the Sheriff's Department stopped defectors from escaping.

"The Sheriff's Department even had deputies on off-road, quad vehicles to catch the runners that tried to escape into the desert," Huffman said. "We appreciated that level of enforcement. It sends a message to those that attend these illegal fights that we're taking them very seriously."

30 people in total were cited for the cockfight, which is a misdemeanor.

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