Nearly 300 roosters seized in cockfighting ring

Posted at 4:51 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 23:39:36-05

SAN DIEGO - Nearly 300 fighting roosters were seized over the weekend at the site of a North County cockfighting event, county officials said Monday.

Sheriff's deputies on Sunday called the county Department of Animal Services to the 18200 block of Quail Drive in Pauma Valley, where animal control officers impounded nearly 100 chickens and euthanized 183 others.

The property owner, whose name was not released, was cited for possessing 126 game cocks, which he relinquished, and 85 cockfighting knives designed to be strapped onto roosters' feet for cockfights, DAS Deputy Director Dan DeSousa said. Spectators were ticketed for attending a cockfight.

Another 154 roosters found in boxes apparently been brought there for fighting, as well. Some were euthanized, and 97 were taken to county facilities in Bonita and Carlsbad, according to DeSousa.

The owner of the confiscated birds has 10 days to request a hearing to contest the seizure.

"Cockfighting is a cruel and barbaric blood sport that is unacceptable in today's society," DeSousa said. "Unfortunately, these birds are bred, trained and medicated for only one purpose, to fight, so they are not suitable for adoption."

Though all the charges issued in the case are misdemeanors, officials are looking into possibly referring a felony animal cruelty complaint to the county District Attorney's Office in connection with the deaths of two birds found in a vehicle at the Pauma Valley property.