DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The SPCA of Texas and Dallas Police seized 360 live birds on Sunday from a property in southeast Dallas while cockfighting was underway.
The SPCA of Texas took custody of the animals, including 128 roosters, 183 chicks, 49 hens and 28 deceased birds.READ MORE: Texas Experiencing Another COVID-19 Surge
The live animals were taken to animal care centers in Dallas and McKinney where they will be evaluated by medical staff and cared for until a civil custody hearing takes place.
The Dallas Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit will oversee the criminal case.
Officers wrote more than 40 tickets to individuals spectating the fight, and are working to charge multiple suspects with possessing cockfighting paraphernalia and/or roosters with the intent to fight, both Class A misdemeanors.
Roosters were found in individual pens throughout the property, the SPCA of Texas said in a news release Tuesday.
Outdoors in a heavily wooded area, roosters, hens and chicks were kept in large, wire pens.
Within shed-type structures littered with debris, roosters were found kept in wooden enclosures and small, wire crates.READ MORE: Administrative Court Judge Orders Mask-Wearing To Enter Dallas County Courthouses
Medications, a scale and a cabinet full of paraphernalia, including slashers and gaffs, were also found in the shed.
Other roosters were found inside of boxes used for transport. A large barn attached to the residence contained a makeshift fighting ring, where the cockfights took place, along with numerous chicks within a locked stall.
Several of the roosters appeared to be lethargic and severely injured with multiple wounds.
Other birds were found already deceased, having succumbed to injuries from 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, 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.MORE NEWS: Summer Break Ends Early For Some Dallas ISD Schools
Federal law also prohibits any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.