Officers raid alleged cockfighting operation in Kent

Regional Animal Services of King County leads raid; takes away 92 roosters

One of the roosters removed from a Kent property by Regional Animal Services of King County during an investigation of the birds being raised and sold for cockfighting. COURTESY PHOTO, Regional Animal Services of King County

One of the roosters removed from a Kent property by Regional Animal Services of King County during an investigation of the birds being raised and sold for cockfighting. COURTESY PHOTO, Regional Animal Services of King County

Regional Animal Services of King County officers executed a search warrant last week on a Kent property and removed 92 chickens (most of them roosters) reportedly raised and trained for cockfighting, an illegal sport where people gamble on which bird will win.

Kent Police, city of Kent code enforcement officers and an agent from the Washington State Gambling Commission assisted in the May 6 morning raid of a home in the 28000 block of 149th Avenue Southeast, according to an email from Sgt. Tim Anderson with Regional Animal Services of King County.

“We do not suspect they were fighting at that location. At this time we believe they were being raised, trained and sold for fighting,” Anderson said. “We continue to investigate others who may have purchased roosters and are actively fighting birds.”

Residents had complained to city code enforcement about rooster noise and a large number of roosters on the residential property. A animal control officer on April 30 responded to the complaint and the property owner allowed the officer on the property to see the roosters.

“The officer recognized many of the roosters had been altered in a fashion consistent with roosters which would be fought,” Anderson said. “The officer also noted wounds on roosters and items on the property consistent with keeping and training roosters for fighting. The officer obtained a search warrant for the property.”

In addition to roosters, other items seized by officers during the search warrant execution were consistent with keeping, breeding and training roosters for fighting, Anderson said.

No arrests were made, Anderson said. He said the case is expected to be forwarded this week to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for a possible charge of animal fighting. Under state law (RCW 16.522.117) animal fighting is a class C felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional institution for five years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of $10,000, or both.

Information on cockfighting

Anderson shared details about cockfighting.

Cockfighting is a blood sport in which two roosters specifically bred for aggression are placed beak to beak in a small ring and encouraged to fight to the death. In organized cockfights, the roosters’ natural fighting instincts are exaggerated through breeding, feeding, training, steroids and vitamins. A bird may undergo several months of training before a fight. Just before a fight, the breeder cuts off the animal’s wattles — the combs below the beak — so that his opponent cannot tear them off.

Once in the ring, roosters often wear knives or artificial gaffs (long, dagger-like attachments) that are sharp enough to puncture a lung, pierce an eye or break bones in order to inflict maximum injury. Fights may be held in buildings, backyards or even basements and can last anywhere from seconds to many minutes. While the rules usually do not require one or both birds to die in order to declare a winner, death is often the outcome due to the severity of injuries.

Besides being cruel to animals, cockfighting is closely connected to other crimes such as gambling, drugs and acts of violence. Bets on the fights can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

“We receive several reports each year of cockfighting as well as dog fighting from throughout the county,” Anderson said. “We work closely with surrounding counties, cities, state and federal agencies on animal fighting cases. We have ongoing investigations and have assisted in serving search warrants in other counties where the participants reside or have ties throughout King County.”

.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Search continues in Central Washington for missing Kent man

Manhunt goes on for potential suspect in case; Ian Eckles last seen May 16

Auburn Mountain View Cemetery Manager Craig Hudson, center, confers with maintenance workers David Partridge, left, and Zach Hopper in March 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
State allows weddings, funerals, religious services to restart with restrictions

Gov. Inslee issues new rules during May 27 news conference.

Kent Police bust man for burglary, robbery

8 police SUVs, officers with rifles respond to May 24 incident

State loosens cougar hunting restrictions

The regulations will impact 19 areas around the state.

City of Kent ready to ‘vigorously defend’ police department in civil rights lawsuit

Suit alleges officers wrongfully killed Joseph-McDade in 2017 shooting

American Medical Response (AMR) organized a parade of first responders to show appreciation for St. Elizabeth Hospital staff April 30. Photo by Ray Miller-Still/Sound Publishing
The complications of counting COVID deaths in Washington

State relies on results of tests and death certificates in calculating the daily toll of the disease.

Republicans file lawsuit over Inslee’s emergency: ‘Facts, and the science, are clear’

Lawsuit says state has violated Constitutional rights of citizens.

Most Read