About 100 fighting roosters are in the care of the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after they were seized over the weekend by Fresno County sheriff’s deputies.
Tony Botti, spokesman for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, said the birds were found Sunday morning at a cockfighting ring within a packing shed on the 5000 block of West Lincoln Avenue, west of Easton. As deputies arrived, a large crowd of people drove away. Botti said some were cornered at the bottom of the property until one driver created an exit by ramming his truck through a chain-link fence.
Deputies found the roosters inside wooden and cardboard boxes. They also found cockfighting spurs and medication. Botti said it’s not known how long the cockfighting operation had been running.
Central California SPCA spokesman Walter Salvari said the birds are being treated by veterinary technicians, but the organization is asking for help paying for the treatment. Donations may be mailed to the CCSPCA, 103 S. Hughes Ave., Fresno, CA 93706.
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Salvari noted in a news release that cockfighting is a brutal sport that involves illegal gambling. Birds are often forced to fight to the death.
Botti said reports of cockfighting are relatively low in Fresno County. The Sheriff’s Office typically receives two or three complaints a year.
Detectives are still searching for suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (559) 600-3111 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP (7867).