SPCA of Texas Awarded Custody of Over 1,600 Birds
Seized from a
Cedar Hill, TX Property

(Cedar Hill, TX); March 23, 2011--On March 22, 2011, a hearing took place at the Cedar Hill Government Center regarding the 1,601 animals the SPCA of Texas seized under the authority of the Cedar Hill Police Department on March 14, 2011. Today, Judge Michael Petty of the Cedar Hill Municipal Court awarded approximately 600 roosters, hens, chicks, and approximately 1,000 eggs to the SPCA of Texas. While in the SPCA of Texas’ custody, an average of 18 eggs continue to hatch each day. Judge Petty awarded the SPCA of Texas restitution in the amount of $51,948.00. However, the SPCA of Texas does not actually expect to receive any of this money to help offset costs.

Judge Petty ordered that the 10 dogs (including eight puppies), two rabbits and two geese be returned to Mr. Minh Pham.

At this time, the SPCA of Texas will hold the fowl and eggs under armed guard for 10 days, during which Mr. Pham has the right to secure the court designated appeal bond in the amount of $207,800.00 and appeal the decision. After the 10 days, if Mr. Pham does not appeal, the animals would be individually evaluated for potential placement on a case by case basis.

“I’ve heard the testimony of a doctor of veterinary medicine that these birds are by temperament, agility and stamina predisposed to fight,” said Judge Petty. ”I’m willing to make the leap that these are fighting birds.”  

At the property, two dead birds were found in an empty dog food bag with leather bindings still wrapped around their legs. These leather bindings likely held blades. Further, about half of the birds had insufficient water and they did not have sufficient food. They were being cruelly confined, and some birds had water that was black and filled with algae. Many of them did not have appropriate shelter and there was one dead bird who was housed with living birds.

The rabbits were being cruelly confined and forced to live in their own feces and urine, and one of the rabbits is unable to defecate due to a medical problem. The geese were dehydrated because they did not have access to appropriate food or water. Two of the puppies did not have access to appropriate food or water.

Shawn Ashley, DVM, reported that six of the puppies were, “Covered with fecal burns with poop allowed to be on their back legs, stomach and kept in unsanitary conditions. One puppy looked like its tail is dying.”

It is the SPCA of Texas’ hope that the animals who will be returned to the owner will receive the medical and basic care they need.

(Cedar Hill, TX); March 14, 2011--Under the authority of the Cedar Hill Police Department, the SPCA of Texas seized 1,601 animals--1,000 eggs; 587 fighting roosters, hens and chicks; ten dogs and puppies; 2 rabbits and 2 geese--today, Monday, March 14, 2011, from 551 Knight St. in Cedar Hill, TX. The bodies of two roosters that appeared to have died from fighting were also found.

The majority of the roosters, hens and chicks were being housed in makeshift cages and hutches that were lined up as far as the eye could see, packing the back half of the property. Some were running loose on the property, some were running loose inside a house and many others were housed in pens in a barn. Eggs were found both inside the house on the property in incubators (about 400 of the eggs) and outside in various roosting containers (about 600 eggs). Eight of the dogs and puppies were roaming the property and two dogs were found in pens next to the barn. The rabbits were in enclosures inside the barn and geese were found in pens.

Further, the birds' water was contaminated with feces and there was no food in the enclosures.

The animals were transported to a secure location, where they will be cared for under armed guard until the custody hearing, which will be held on Tuesday, March 22 at the Municipal Court at the Cedar Hill Government Center located at 285 Uptown Blvd. in Cedar Hill, TX. The birds that survived the fight will be treated by SPCA of Texas medical staff.




 

The Cedar Hill Police Department received an anonymous tip from a concerned citizen on Sunday, March 13 that a cockfight was in progress. After securing the scene, the Cedar Hill Police department called the SPCA of Texas for assistance with the birds.

"This is the largest-scale rooster seizure that we've been involved in," said Ann Barnes, Sr. Vice President of Operations for the SPCA of Texas. "Cockfighting is a brutal, horrific, illegal activity that, sadly, occurs all over the state of Texas. We're thankful to the Cedar Hill Police Department for sending a strong message that this criminal activity will not be tolerated in their city."

Cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states, including Texas, where it is a felony, punishable by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine. It is a felony in 35 states and the District of Columbia and a misdemeanor in 15 states. Since 2002, a federal law has prohibited any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.

If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody of the animals, they would be individually evaluated for potential placement on a case by case basis.

To help the SPCA of Texas fund future efforts like this and to support the SPCA of Texas' other programs and services, please visit http://www.spca.org/helptheanimals. To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, please visit our website at http://www.spca.org.


SPCA of Texas Seizing Approximately 500 Fighting Roosters
and Hens from Cedar Hill, TX Property Today


(Cedar Hill, TX); March 14, 2011--Under the authority of the Cedar Hill Police Department, the SPCA of Texas is in the process of seizing approximately 500 birds (about 400 roosters and 100 hens) today, Monday, March 14, 2011, from 551 Knight St. in Cedar Hill, TX.

The roosters are being transported to a secure location today, where they will be cared for under armed guard until the custody hearing, which will be held on Tuesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. at the Municipal Court at the Cedar Hill Government Center located at 285 Uptown Blvd. in Cedar Hill, TX.





 

The Cedar Hill Police Department received an anonymous tip on Sunday, March 13 that a cockfight was in progress. After securing the scene, the Cedar Hill Police department called the SPCA of Texas for assistance with the birds.

Cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states, including Texas, where it is a felony, punishable by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine. It is a felony in 35 states and the District of Columbia and a misdemeanor in 15 states. Since 2002, a federal law has prohibited any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.

If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody of the animals, they would be individually evaluated for potential placement on a case by case basis.

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