Earlier this year, Fontana Police received an anonymous tip regarding a cockfighting ring at a warehouse in South Fontana. When officers arrived, approximately 30 individuals began running in all directions from the location. Two of the defendants fled to a nearby shed.
One of the defendants had $1,304 in his pockets, and the other had $417 on him. Three other defendants were stopped as well in a vehicle leaving the location. They each denied leaving the cockfighting ring. However, officers discovered $14,273 in the vehicle along with cockfighting paraphernalia.
Fighting gaffs and sparring muffs on display after cockfighting ring uncovered by Fontana Animal Control Officers. The so-called sport of cockfighting entails attaching razor-sharp blades, or gaffs (pictured above), to the legs of the roosters. The birds are then left to battle each other until one of the opponents is dead or too injured to continue.
At the warehouse, officers discovered a wooden fighting ring, fighting gaffs, sparring muffs, scales and cockfighting magazines. Approximately 75 fighting fowl were found inside the warehouse, and 35 dead fowl were found in a trashcan behind the warehouse. Each had recent cuts and injuries consistent with cockfighting. The birds had been tormented, mutilated, deprived of food and water and trained to fight until death.
Each of the defendants eventually admitted to being present at the fight in violation of PC 597c (Unlawful Presence of Fighting Animals). As part of the plea, over $15,000 was forfeited by the defendants. They will be ordered to stay away from any cockfighting venue or event and subject to search and seizure terms, and some of the defendants will serve jail time.
According to Deputy District Attorney David Collins, who prosecuted the case, it’s important to pursue these types of cases because the birds or other animals are unable to protect themselves.
“In a cockfighting case like this, the birds are simply trained to fight until their death just so people can win some money,” Collins said. “The animals can’t do anything about it. Plus, by prosecuting an animal cruelty case like this, it demonstrates to the defendants and others that cockfighting is not acceptable conduct in our community.”
For more information, please be sure to visit our partners at the National Humane Society of the United States.