Unprecedented rooster seizure moves to next phase of probe

Alleged cockfighting operation in Val Verde. photo courtesy of LASD.

SOURCE: County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Fifty employees from the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) have completed their work at the scene of the largest seizure of fighting birds in U.S. history.

During the May 15 raid in Val Verde, nearly 7,000 birds were discovered in a remote canyon area. The seizure involved representatives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (SPCALA), the Humane Society of the United States and Pasadena Humane Society. All evidence collected will be provided to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“We are extremely proud of our staff and support team,” said DACC Director Marcia Mayeda. “We hope this sends a powerful message to those engaging in cockfighting that this crime is taken very seriously. If you observe any animal abuse or neglect, please contact us at (562) 940-6898. If you would like to report a fight in action, please call 911.”

Press conference held Tuesday on the raid at a suspected cockfighting operation in Val Verde. courtesy photo by LASD.

All the birds were euthanized because of public health concerns and their aggressive nature. Animal control and humane agencies take this action to prevent the spread of diseases such as Avian Flu or Exotic Newcastle’s Disease, which could affect not only the public health but also the poultry industry. In 2003, when Exotic Newcastle Disease was found in fighting roosters transported into California from Mexico, thousands of chickens in the state were euthanized to prevent devastation of the poultry industry.

Thirteen dogs and one cat seized during the operation are available for adoption on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be found at the Castaic Animal Care Center located at 31044 N. Charlie Canyon RD. Castaic, CA 91384, and some of them may be at the Valencia Nissan adoption event on Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 24111 Creekside Rd, Valencia, CA 91355. Breeds available include German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Pomeranian, Labrador Retriever, Queensland Heeler and more.

To search for animals available for adoption, visit https://animalcare.lacounty.gov .

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