100 birds removed from alleged cockfighting property

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) More than 100 birds were removed from a Hendricks County property that officials believe hosted cockfight contests.

Police, Indiana Gaming authorities and staff from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were working this work at a Coatesville property where investigators found more than 100 birds, including roosters with their combs and wattles removed – physical alterations common in fighting birds. Cockfighting “paraphernalia” was also found on the property, according to a news release.

“Indiana citizens continue to take a stand against animal fighting by reporting suspected activity to us,” said Indiana Gaming Commission Superintendent Rob Townsend. “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.”

Hendricks County is just west of Indianapolis.

ASPCA officials were called in by the Indiana Gaming Commission to remove the birds, the release said. The agency is also working with local officials to collect evidence, assess the birds for medical needs and take them to a temporary shelter.

It’s the third such cockfighting the ASPCA has helped the Gaming Commission with this year, the release said.

“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.”

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.