ASPCA Assists Indiana Gaming Commission with Removal of More than 100 Birds in Cockfighting Case

Birds used for cockfights are being transported to temporary shelter established by the ASPCA
October 11, 2017

Coatesville, Ind.—At the request of the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC), the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with the removal of more than 100 birds from a property alleged to be associated with cockfighting in Hendricks County, Indiana. The ASPCA is also assisting local authorities with evidence collection, medical assessments, and transportation of the birds to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location.

Upon arriving at the property, investigators found multiple roosters with physical alterations common in fighting birds, such as the removal of their combs and wattles. Cockfighting paraphernalia was also discovered on the property.

The ASPCA has assisted the IGC with three cockfighting investigations this year alone, including a February raid involving 100 birds in Pulaski County and a more recent case this summer in Marion County.

“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.”

“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.”

During cockfights, birds commonly suffer from injuries including punctured lungs and broken bones. These injuries are often the result of knives and artificial gaffs—long, dagger-like attachments—that are attached to the birds to maximize injury. In addition to animal cruelty, cockfighting is connected to other illegal crimes such as gambling and drugs.

In Indiana, conducting a cockfight, as well as the possession of birds for fighting, are Level 6 felonies, each punishable by six months to three years in a state prison, as well as a maximum fine of $10,000. For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to end cockfighting, visit