ASPCA Assists Authorities in Wisconsin Cockfighting Bust, 1,200 Birds Found

June 3, 2015

Rooster in cage

The ASPCA is on the ground assisting authorities in Wisconsin’s Polk and St. Croix counties where more than 1,200 birds from four properties associated with cockfighting were found.

ASPCA responders discovered roosters, hens and chicks living in cages or makeshift enclosures, some without access to proper food or water. Some of the birds appeared to be suffering from recent trauma consistent with fighting, while others had undergone alterations common in fighting birds, such as the removal of their combs and wattles. Our responders are providing medical assessments and daily care for the birds, and are assisting with evidence collection. The ASPCA has also provided local authorities on this case with investigative and legal support.

Cockfighting is a brutal blood sport, and those forced to fight commonly suffer from severe injuries including punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes. These injuries are often the result of knives and artificial gaffs—long, dagger-like attachments—that are affixed to the birds to maximize injury. Often, steroids or other drugs are administered to the birds to make them more aggressive.“Cockfighters profit from and enjoy watching birds fight for their life,” says ASPCA Vice President of Field Investigations and Response Tim Rickey. “Not only is cockfighting cruel, it often brings other crimes to communities, such as illegal gambling and drug possession. We’re pleased to be in a position where we could step in and provide resources and expertise to assist local authorities in ending this violent criminal enterprise and holding the abusers accountable.”

We’re relieved that these 1,200 birds will never have to fight again, but our work is far from over. While cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states, this cruel practice sadly persists. Please consider making a donation to the ASPCA today to help us end animal cruelty nationwide.

Rooster in cage