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(DALLAS, TX); May 26, 2020– On Sunday, May 24, 2020, the SPCA of Texas and the Dallas Police Department seized 388 birds from a property in southeast Dallas where a cockfight was in progress. The SPCA of Texas took custody of the animals, including 128 roosters, 183 chicks, 49 hens and 28 deceased birds. The live animals were transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas and the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in 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 and any subsequent charges against individuals who may be found responsible. Dallas Police Department officers wrote over 40 tickets to individuals spectating the fight, and are working to charge multiple suspects with possessing cockfighting paraphernalia and/or possessing roosters with the intent to fight, both Class A misdemeanors.
Roosters were found in individual pens throughout the property. 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. 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.
To view and download photos of the birds taken at the property and the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center, please click on the following link or copy and paste it into a browser:
The animals were transported to the SPCA of Texas to receive further care during the investigation and pursuant to the current Memorandum of Understanding between the Dallas Police Department and the SPCA of Texas designed to bring animal cruelty perpetrators to justice. The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Animal Services work to receive and identify cases of animal cruelty in Dallas County, and the Dallas Police Department’s designated Animal Cruelty Unit oversee the investigation of these cases. The SPCA of Texas provides housing and medical care for animals involved in these cases during the investigation. For more information about the MOU and how the SPCA of Texas assists the Dallas Police Department with animal cruelty investigations, please visit www.spca.org/acistats.
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. Federal law also prohibits any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.
To help support the SPCA of Texas and its efforts to help abused, neglected and homeless animals and to support the SPCA of Texas’ other programs and services, please visit www.spca.org/helptheanimals. To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, please visit our website at www.spca.org.
The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare organization in North Texas. Founded in 1938, the non-profit operates two shelters, three spay/neuter and wellness clinics, two mobile spay/neuter and wellness vehicles, one mobile adoptions vehicle and an emergency animal rescue center, all located in Dallas and Collin Counties, and maintains a team of animal cruelty investigators who respond to thousands of calls in North Texas counties. Moreover, the SPCA of Texas serves as an active resource center for an array of services that bring people and animals together to enrich each other’s lives. The SPCA of Texas is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other national humane organization. The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home. For more information, visit spca.org
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