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Roughly 130 Birds Located at the Scene; Two Dead

Animal Services officers teamed with Riverside Police officers to bust up an illegal cockfighting operation in the city’s La Sierra Acres neighborhood Sunday morning.

Dozens of participants fled the property when officers arrived to the property, located in the 5300 block of Norwood Avenue. Approximately 130 birds were at the location and the only person remaining was suspected of being a spectator.

Riverside Police cited the spectator for a Penal Code section related to participation at a cockfighting as a spectator.

The birds that were believed to be participants’ animals were relinquished for euthanasia. However, 68 birds that appeared to be owned and cared for by the person living at the property were not euthanized, nor removed. The case remains an open investigation.

A cockfighting ring was set up with wood boards and two birds were already dead shortly after 10 a.m. Illegal blades were seized by officers. The blades are used in the fights and the losing bird usually succumbs to injuries caused by the blades. Also present: scales, a ledger and cardboard transport containers.

Animal Services officers investigated and issued seizure warrants for cockfighting operations with greater frequently five to 10 years ago, Commander Chris Mayer said.

“Such operations are now less common,” Mayer said. “We believe more people understand that these cockfights are illegal and more people are finding such activities barbaric and provide us tips when they are occurring.”

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