VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The SPCA of Texas, the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, Van Zandt Precinct 2 Constable’s Office, Department of Public Safety and Texas Game Wardens raided a cockfight in progress on Sunday.
The SPCA of Texas seized and took custody of 104 fighting roosters.
Approximately 200 people were there and most took off once officers arrived.
The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office arrested three people on state jail felony charges of “causes a cock to fight with another cock” and “participates in the earnings of a cockfight,” and issued 22 citations for attending a cockfight as a spectator, which is a Class C misdemeanor.
Many of the birds appear to be suffering from open wounds, cuts and scrapes, missing feathers and eye issues. One rooster was humanely euthanized at the recommendation of an SPCA of Texas veterinarian due to the severity of his wounds.
The roosters were transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center, where they received immediate medical care from veterinary staff and will be cared for until a custody hearing takes place.
The custody hearing will take place on Wednesday, July 10.
On June 30, 2019, a search warrant was obtained for the suspected cockfighting property, and the Texas Game Warden contacted the SPCA of Texas to gather evidence and take custody of the birds.
The property held a large, octagon ring, built out of plywood, along with concession stands, indicating the property had been regularly used for the purpose of cockfighting.
Investigators also found cockfighting paraphernalia, including short knives known as “slashers,” heeling kits, leather straps and mole skin. Most of the roosters were found in transport boxes and cages, with several being confined to drop pens.
Many roosters still had short knives attached to their legs.
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.