Nearly 150 roosters seized when deputies busted a cockfighting event in Jurupa Valley were euthanized and the property owner could face felony animal cruelty charges, officials said Sunday.
After receiving reports of a large and ruckus gathering, deputies broke up the event at 10:36 p.m. Friday in the 5900 block of Troth Street, where about 200 people where gathered around a wooden cockfighting ring, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
“A large response of Jurupa Valley Station personnel was necessary to disperse the crowd,” Sgt. Patrick Samosky said.
Upon searching the property, deputies found multiple deceased or severely injured birds, as well as “fighting blades,” often attached on the leg of roosters during cockfighting events, sheriff’s officials said.
In total, 143 caged roosters were seized and handed over to Riverside County Animal Services, who said the birds were euthanized.
In a press release, Animal Services said the agency “cannot adopt out such birds as they are valuable and they would almost always end up back in a cockfighting ring. They are not suitable as pets.”
Animal Services said it took until 6 a.m. Saturday to complete the euthanasia process.
The owner of the property received a misdemeanor citation for possession of fighting blades, though Animal Services said they will likely request that the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office file felony animal cruelty charges.