DALLAS, Texas — Over 40 people were cited for spectating a cockfight in southeast Dallas on Sunday where the SPCA of Texas assisted police in seizing 388 birds, including 28 which were deceased, the SPCA of Texas stated in a press release today.
The Dallas Police Department was dispatched to a residence in the 2800 block of Jordan Valley Road just before noon on Sunday in reference to an active cockfight.
There, responding officers tracked down and detained more than 40 spectators of the cockfight who fled upon their arrival. Each was detained and charged with a class C misdemeanor for spectating the cockfight — a crime illegal in all 50 states, according to the SPCA of Texas.
The Dallas Police Department's Animal Cruelty Unit is also working to charge multiple individuals with possessing cockfighting paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor; possessing roosters with intent to fight, also a class A misdemeanor; and to cause birds to fight with one another and/or to use property for the purpose of cockfighting, a state-jail felony.
Police discovered a large barn attached to the residence which contained a makeshift cockfighting ring.
The SPCA of Texas took custody of the animals which included 128 roosters, 183 chicks, 49 hens, and 28 deceased birds. Roosters were kept in individual pens throughout the property and roosters, hens, and chicks were kept in large wire pens in a heavily-wooded area on the property and within shed-type structures, which were littered with debris, and kept in small wooden enclosures and wire crates.
Investigators also found medications, a scale, and a cabinet full of cockfighting paraphernalia, including slashers and gaffs.
"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," stated the SPCA of Texas.
"Several of the roosters appeared to be lethargic and severely injured with multiple wounds," stated the agency. "Other birds were found already deceased, having succumbed to injuries from fighting."
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.