LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro police arrested a man on drug charges following an animal cruelty investigation that found more than 300 roosters at a home in the 4000 block of E. Judson Avenue. Police believe the man is a major player in a cockfighting ring.
The man will likely face multiple felony charges related to the torture and housing of the birds, as well as possession of cockfighting equipment. The home is in the northeast valley, near Lamb Boulevard and Carey Avenue.
Roosters are raised to fight each other with sharp blades attached to their legs until one of the animals dies.
“The whole purpose of raising roosters in this regard is to fight them. It’s done as gambling and pleasure, and just attending these fights is a crime in the state of Nevada,” Metro Det. Robert Sigal, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department – Animal Cruelty Unit.
Police said each rooster could be worth hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars. They are usually brought in from Mexico or South America, and used in cockfights. Police said the fights typically involve gambling, and drug use is common at the events.
The number of roosters found suggests that the suspect is a major player in a ring, Sigal said. Cockfighting is a big sport that attracts people from a wide area, and the roosters progress through fights until the best fighters are left.
“You almost have to think about it as a March Madness-type situation,” Sigal said.
Community volunteers who work with the Animal Cruelty Unit were brought in to round up the roosters. They will be taken to the Animal Foundation.
But usually, roosters involved in cockfighting are too aggressive — or too injured — to be adopted out to new homes, Sigal said.
“For a rooster to be able to fight, you have to remove certain parts of the animal, such as the wattle, the crown and the spurs so that when the fight is occurring, you don’t end up with additional blood that keeps them from being able to see,” Sigal said.