Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies busted an alleged cockfighting ring Sunday, seizing equipment and 61 roosters in the raid, authorities said.
According to authorities, an anonymous tip was called in at 8 a.m. Sunday reporting an illegal cockfight taking place in a densely wooded area on Riverside Drive in a rural section of Watsonville near the Monterey County border.
The location of the fight was well hidden behind several strawberry fields and down an embankment in the woods.
When responding deputies arrived on scene the suspects fled in all directions.
Animal Control officers discovered 61 roosters dressed for cockfighting, a cockfighting ring built out of plywood and a betting table.
Authorities said it appeared that this was not the first time a cockfight had taken place at the location.
“We are thankful for the citizen who tipped off authorities to the location of this barbaric and illegal blood sport,” states Todd Stosuy, Field Services Manager of Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. “There is nothing entertaining about putting small knives on roosters and betting on who will kill the other. It is callous, unethical and illegal.”
Authorities have several leads on those involved in the cockfight, and will be continuing their investigation to determine if charges will be filed.
Anyone with information on those involved in the cockfight is urged to contact Stosuy at 454-7254.
Anyone with information related to cockfights can receive up to a $5,000 reward from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for information that leads to the arrest and conviction. HSUS can be reached at 1-877-TIP-HSUS.
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