COATSVILLE, Ind. (CBS4) – More than 100 birds are being removed from a Hendricks County property in connection with a cockfighting investigation our partner station, CBS 4 in Indianapolis first reported.
When investigators arrived at the property, they found roosters with physical alterations commonly found in fighting birds. These alterations include the removal of their combs and wattles.
Cockfighting paraphernalia was also found at the scene. A total of 126 birds were seized.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is assisting the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) and local authorities in collecting evidence as well as providing care and transportation for the birds.
No arrests have been made in connection with the investigation. Officials say a relative of the family under investigation was arrested off property on separate, unrelated charges. An anonymous tip led authorities to the home.
The ASPCA says it has assisted in three separate cockfighting investigations this year.
“Indiana citizens continue to take a stand against animal fighting by reporting suspected activity to us,” said Superintendent Rob Townsend of the Indiana Gaming Commission. “This investigation began with an anonymous tip, and we are pleased that we have been able to work with the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office and the ASPCA to shut down this operation.”
Officials say birds commonly suffer from injuries like punctured lungs and broken bones when forced to fight. The injuries are often from knives or long, dagger-like attachments fastened to the birds.
“The ASPCA is committed to stamping out this barbaric blood sport where birds are forced to fight while their owners profit from their torture,” said Tim Rickey, vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The ASPCA is proud to lend its resources and expertise to the Indiana Gaming Commission to bring this cruel form of organized animal fighting to an end.”
Conducting a cockfight and possessing birds for fighting are level 6 felonies. The charges carry a sentence of six months to three years in prison. A maximum fine of $10,000 can also be imposed.
The property owners denied the allegations to CBS4 and said they were raising the birds for shows.