Update: 4,000 Birds Seized in Largest Cockfighting Bust in NY State

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 2:30pm
Ulster County Update

Earlier this week, we told you about our support of a massive cockfighting bust that spanned three counties in New York State. At the request of the New York State Attorney General's Office, the ASPCA is still on the ground at an Ulster County farm, assisting with the removal, transport and sheltering of as many as 4,000 fighting roosters.

While our responders establish a temporary shelter, where the birds will be cared for and housed pending court disposition, law enforcement officers have arrested three individuals associated with the farm, where birds allegedly destined for cockfights, were bred and trained. The owner of the property was apprehended in south Florida, and according to investigators and an article in the New York Times, has operated an extensive cockfighting pipeline for years.

Several other arrests were made on Saturday night when investigators busted a cockfight in Queens and raided a pet shop in Brooklyn. 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.

Stay tuned to for more news to come—and please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. Together we can rescue more animals from lives of suffering and abuse.

Ulster County roosters

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I agree with Ron. Just like in drug raids etc, those convicted of training animals (be it dogs, roos, etc) for fighting and those who engage in backyard breeding which is really hoarding should have their property confiscated and the proceeds from sale used to rehabilitate, feed, shelter, rehome etc said animals. We need to make it expensive for those involved. The penalties are way to soft. I would like to see a fine per animal.

susan rudnicki

What ASPCA and others doing the raids don't tell the public is, MOST of these poor birds will be "offed" because no one wants them. Roos, especially, with their ability to crow, are excluded from all but the most rural locations, and the sanctuaries taking them are overwhelmed by the backyard chicken keeping movement dumping the 50% of the population that is statistically male. I love roosters, and have 2 lovely ones, but humans seem to have a very short fuse for the bird's natural voice. They will tolerate a baying dog many times over the crowing of a rooster. Ironically, folks will travel to France to stay in the countryside and extoll the bucolic beauty of early morning rooster crows---guess the expensive price makes it more "atmospheric"

ASPCA supporter Lisa

Thank you for your efforts against cockfighting ... Last year, a presumed cockfighting escapee (according to experts I consulted) appeared in my suburban D.C. backyard, and I sheltered him for six months. I had never known a rooster, and what fun he was! So gorgeous, and so smart. And I thought his crowing was part of nature's music. And he was so eager to commune (tentatively) with me and my other animals. He would perch with my cats and dog. So thank you for appreciating and helping roosters.


Thanks for all you do to help these beautiful creatures. Without your tireless efforts so many of these cruel and illegal activities would continue to flourish hidden away from the public eye. Good work.



Cast your righteous judgement upon the undeserving heathens.


ASPCA - bless all of you and the work you do for God's creatures.

David Jensen

The gamblers should also be fined and jailed. I would guess most of them were immigrants from South of the US and do not represent US citizens (a news item for the city may have indicated that). Their behavior cannot be tolerated.


No, they shouldn't. Believe it or not, some people do this because it's a tradition they were raised into and the money they make off of that tradition ultimately helps them escape the conditions very few people are working to get rid of, they are US citizens, and their behavior will be tolerated, just like your ignorance towards an entire culture.


To anonymous: It is not ignorance.......traditions that expose living beings to such pain and suffering should NOT be tolerated, no matter what the culture and their so called "traditions" are! No living being should be made to endure such pain and suffering, it's not right on so many levels! I have read your posts and it sounds to me as though you want to cause drama and will post anything to get such a rise from others, in an attempt for attention. Well, you have my attention and I will close with, I feel sorry for people like you who think such is what makes evil thrive in society. I pray that you will find it in your heart to show love and compassion to all living beings and that your heart may feel such love and compassion as it is obviously something that you have never gotten or have never learned to truly appreciate.


It is ignorant. cruelty for fun is ignorant. just because something is tradition doesn't make it ok. In some part of the world it is the "tradition" to still mutilate a girls body so she can never enjoy sex. Should we be ok with it only because is tradition?

surely those people can find a legitimate business to bring money home without having to continue cruelty. Thank you SPCA, lets fight together for higher penalties for animal abuse of any kind.