Cockfighting ring busted; 100 birds taken to Fort Wayne

MEDARYVILLE, Ind. (WANE) Nearly 100 birds were rescued from a western Indiana property where authorities said large-scale cock fights were held.

Cockfighting is illegal throughout the United States. (Associated Press)
Cockfighting is illegal throughout the United States. (Associated Press)

Police and animal care agents on Thursday raided a property in Medaryville in Pulaski County, north of Lafayette and 100 miles west of Fort Wayne. Investigators found roosters in wire cages, many without food or water, dead birds and cockfighting “paraphernalia” like dagger attachments to maximize injury during the fights and supplements to enhance the birds’ performance, authorities said.

The ASPCA was called in to assess the birds and rescue them. The birds were taken to a temporary shelter created by Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control in Fort Wayne, officials said.

Information on arrests or charges was not available.

“This investigation illustrates the prevalence and brutality of cockfighting in America,” said Kathryn Destreza, investigations director for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The ASPCA has increased efforts to tackle organized animal fighting, and encourages the public to alert authorities when they suspect animal fighting activities in their communities. We commend the Indiana Gaming Commission for their commitment and dedication in tackling this barbaric form of animal cruelty and holding the abusers accountable.”

Conducting a cockfight and possession of birds for fighting are Class 1 felonies in Indiana and carry sentences of up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.