cockfighting

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas — Yesterday, multiple law enforcement agencies raided a property in Van Zandt County where a cockfight was in progress — seizing 104 fighting roosters, making several arrests, and issuing multiple citations.

Approximately 200 people were in attendance of the fight when police arrived, most of which fled the scene upon law enforcement's arrival.

According to the SPCA of Texas, the Texas Game Wardens contacted their agency to assist in the warrant execution. Them, along with the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, Pct. 2 Constable's Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety raided the property which is suspected of regularly hosting cockfighting events.

Three people were arrested at the time of the raid for causing a cock to fight with another cock and participates in the earnings of a cockfight, both state jail felonies. 22 citations were issued for attendees who spectated the cockfighting, which are class C misdemeanors.

"The property held a large, octagon ring, built out of plywood, along with concession stands, indicating the property had been regularly used for the purpose of cockfighting," read a statement from the SPCA. "Investigators also found cockfighting paraphernalia, including short knives known as "slashers," heeling kits, leather straps and mole skin."

" Most of the roosters were found in transport boxes and cages, with several being confined to drop pens," continued the statement. "Many roosters still had short knives attached to their legs."

According to the SPCA, many of the birds appeared to be suffering from open wounds, scrapes, cuts, and were missing eyes and feathers. One rooster was humanely euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.

The roosters were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center, where they received immediate medical care from veterinary staff and will be cared for until a custody hearing takes place on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. That hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Van Zandt County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2 Courthouse located at 250 E. Grove St., Suite 102, Canton, TX, 75103, before Judge Sandra Plaster.