Breaking News: 4,000 Birds Seized in Largest Cockfighting Bust in NY History

Monday, February 10, 2014 - 8:30am

This weekend, at the request of the New York State Attorney General's Office, the ASPCA, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police, assisted with the removal, transport and sheltering of as many as 4,000 fighting roosters in the largest cockfighting case in New York State history.

On Saturday, February 8, the ASPCA seized 65 birds as a result of a cockfighting bust by law enforcement agencies in Woodhaven, Queens. Six arrests were made for violation of the animal fighting law. The ASPCA also discovered rooster carcasses that had been killed earlier in the night during the cockfighting event.

Simultaneously, police executed a search warrant at Pet NV, a pet shop in Brooklyn, resulting in the seizure of 50 roosters as well as other animals including hamsters, finches, rabbits and snakes. ASPCA responders found the roosters living inside metal cages in the basement of the pet shop, with physical alterations to the roosters consistent with cockfighting.

At both properties, cockfighting paraphernalia, including artificial spurs, candle wax, medical adhesive tape, syringes used to inject performance enhancing drugs to strengthen the roosters’ fighting ability, was discovered.

The following morning, February 9, the ASPCA assisted law enforcement agencies as they raided a 90-acre farm where as many as 6,000 roosters and hens were seized. The farm had operated for years under the guise of a live poultry farm, and the birds were living in deplorable conditions. Many showed signs of starvation and other conditions requiring medical attention. The owner of the property collected rent from rooster owners and blood sport enthusiasts in exchange for boarding, feeding and caring for their birds.

The ASPCA established a temporary shelter at an undisclosed location, where the birds will be cared for and housed pending disposition.

Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states. In New York, cockfighting and possession of a fighting bird at a cockfighting location are felonies, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of four years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000. Additionally, attending a cockfight is a misdemeanor, with a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

Stay tuned to for more news to come--and please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today so we can rescue more victims of blood sports and animal cruelty. Together we can save animals from lives of suffering and abuse.

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Tanisha M Lopes

Thank you so much, I hope these birds have a good chance at having a happy ending.

Alessandra Rupa...

Thank you for your dedication and ongoing work. I hope that these roosters can be rehabilitated in Sanctuaries and find a second chance away from cruelty and exploitation. We will share to help gathering contributions. Thank you again!


Thank you for your hard work and compassion. I'm away from home now but I get your mailings and will be making a donation.

ASPCA Moderator

Thank you for your kind words and support, Patricia!

Maria Elena Bernal

Hello Everyone at ASPCA,

First of all, thank you for all you do. I am writing to you to let you know that my sister lives in CA and has a 10 acre ranch and would love to adopt a couple of these innocent birds who deserve so much better in life. She recently adopted a rescued rooster that was used for fighting and that was one day away to being euthanized. This rooster named Panchito is now roaming around free at the ranch and very happy of his new life. Please let us know what we can do to make this happen and if their are any rescue transportation groups who come out this way so we can make this happen. It would be great to find a home for all of these birds. God bless you for all you do!


BTW, it you look closely at the one photo, all the poultry aren't just roosters. There are some hens in there too!

Irmita Castro

Harming, Killing or even Supporting Any Kind Of Psychotic Animal Abuse Like This Is The Very 1ST Step To Becoming A Serial Killer ! All Animal Abusers Should Get Much More time than just 4 years in Jail ! Killing An Animal is almost like killing an innocent Child for Christ Sake !!

Chris Ebre

I have heard about a cockfighting operation in the county where I live and finally located where many of the birds may be living. Who is the best person, group etc to contact? I do not necessarily trust local authorities to follow-up on this nor want to alert the perpetrators so they avoid justice and the birds are not helped. And I don't want to publically communicate more about this. Can you reply so I can PM or take this private, please? Thanks


Is cockfighting legal in Puerto Rico? I was visiting there and heard there were a lot of cock fights.


cockfighting is a sport part of our history leave it alone........