Santa Cruz officials seek help after 80 dead roosters found

(AP)

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (BCN) — Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter officials are seeking the public’s help in identifying the person or people involved in recent animal fighting.

In recent months, animal shelter authorities have found dead roosters dumped in two separate rural locations near Watsonville.

According to animal shelter officials, 43 dead roosters were found near Shell Road, and another 34 were found off Rancho Road.

The roosters appeared to have been involved in cockfighting, an illegal sport where roosters with knives attached to their legs are placed in a ring and fight until one dies.

In the past week, authorities have also found two pit bulls, about six months old, that appear to have been used for dog fighting. Both dogs were found alive with wounds in the Interlaken area near Watsonville and exhibit behavior consistent with dog fighting.

“Cockfighting and dog fighting are barbaric rituals that involve egregious animal cruelty and torture,” the shelter’s field services manager Todd Stosuy said.

“The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter will work with the District Attorney’s Office to prosecute those involved in cockfighting or dog fighting to the fullest extent of the law,” Stosuy said.

The group PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrests and convictions of those responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter at (831) 454-7200, ext. 1.

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