VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Arrests made in a potential cockfighting ring in Vigo and Sullivan counties. Deputies say this animal abuse crime here could be connected to a larger multi state ring.
Mutilated and stuck in cages, the farm fowl confiscated Wednesday are contraband according to the Vigo and Sullivan counties' sheriff's departments.
"Their combs have been removed, their waddles have been removed as well as their spurs and the reason the individuals are taking those things off the animals is to prepare them for fighting," Vigo County Chief Deputy Clark Cottom said.
Authorities say the birds came from these men's homes: Jeffrey McMahan of Sullivan and George Piker of Terre Haute.
"Both were arrested for felony possession of fighting animals and also paraphernalia used in the fighting of animals," Cottom explained.
In all, 50 battle birds were taken today by the Terre Haute Humane Society, but it's only the third cockfighting case Indiana's State veterinarian has seen in 25 years.
It's part of a plot the Vigo County sheriff's department believes runs through several other states; with this Wabash Valley connection as a supplier of the fighters.
"We learned through our investigation that some of the birds we seized here today have a street value up to 400 dollars, so somebody out there is making quite a bit of money doing this," Cottom said.
Right now they're not sure what will happen to the roosters.
"There are going to be some things that are going to have to be sorted out in the next few days, weeks ahead to find out how to best place these animals," Cottom ended saying.
But, until then these man made birds of prey while rescued, have an uncertain future.
The Terre Haute Humane Society says they are waiting on word from the state veterinarian to decide what the next step is.
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