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Hopkins County Sheriff's Office Seizes 63 Fighting Roosters, Hens from Van after Traffic Stop SPCA of Texas Receives Custody


(DALLAS, TX); June 21, 2017
– Late Tuesday, June 20, 2017, a man was arrested and booked into the Hopkins County Jail on two charges of Class A misdemeanor for cockfighting: "manufactures, buys, sells, barters, exchanges, possesses, advertises, or otherwise offers a gaff, slasher, or other sharp implement designed for attachment to a cock with the intent that the implement be used in cockfighting" and "owns or trains a cock with the intent that the cock be used in an exhibition of cockfighting." Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

That evening, the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office pulled over a van for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, the Sheriff's Office found 63 birds--55 roosters and 8 hens--and cockfighting paraphernalia inside the vehicle. The Hopkins County Sheriff's Office made the arrest and seized the birds at that time.
The Hopkins County Sheriff's Office contacted the SPCA of Texas, and the SPCA of Texas' Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit took custody of the birds the morning of Wednesday, June 21 after the owner signed custody of the birds over to the SPCA of Texas. Because the owner signed the birds over to the SPCA of Texas, no custody hearing is necessary. The SPCA of Texas loaded the animals for transport and took them to a secure location to provide them with medical treatment and care. The organization will now individually evaluate the birds for potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis. The SPCA of Texas is proud to partner with the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office to hold accountable those who violate Texas animal cruelty laws.

To view and download photos and video of the birds, taken as at the scene, please click HERE

Some of the birds have been dubbed (had their comb and waddle removed, a common practice in cockfighting) and some appear to have feather loss on chest and wings.

The SPCA of Texas Investigators have probable cause to believe that the birds were bred for the purpose of being fought because some of them were already dubbed and because of the presence of cockfighting paraphernalia in the vehicle with the roosters.

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. 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.

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Jose

SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

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