6 min read

'Fighting' Rooster Immediately Cuddles Up To Woman Who Rescued Him

"She was petting him, and he was closing his little eyes, and he seemed quite peaceful.”

Over the weekend, a police helicopter flew over a forest in Dallas, Texas, and spotted something unusual. In a secluded spot, several cars were parked next to each other, and there seemed to be lines of animal cages. When the helicopter drew closer, people began to flee the area in a frenzy.

“At first, the officers thought it was a dogfight, but when the folks on the ground got there, they realized what it was,” Maura Davies, vice president for the SPCA of Texas, told The Dodo.

Cockfighting ring
SPCA of Texas

It wasn’t a dogfight, but it something equally disturbing — a cockfighting ring, where people force roosters to fight each other to the death, and place bets on who will die first.

Police and inspectors from the SPCA of Texas found 53 live roosters, who were being kept in mesh cages and wooden transport boxes. There was also a huge amount of cockfighting paraphernalia.

Rooster in cockfighting ring
SPCA of Texas

“There were many, many gaffs,” Davies said. “Those are the razor blades that cockfighters attach to the roosters’ ankles and legs in order to make the fights very brutal.”

Police also found syringes and vials of a mysterious liquid, which Davies suspects was an adrenaline-boosting drug used to make the roosters more aggressive.

There were also wire cages and string used to tether the roosters so they couldn’t run away.

Cockfighting paraphernalia
String and other paraphernalia used in cockfighting | SPCA of Texas

“They either put them in those wire enclosures, or tie them with string so that they’re kind of tethered by their ankles to the base of a shrub,” Davies said. “It’s just kind of a staging area before the fight.”

And, as usual when roosters are forced to fight, many of the animals didn’t make it. Officials also found the bodies of 32 dead roosters.

Caged roosters at cockfighting bust
SPCA of Texas

Warning: Graphic photos below

“What was the most heartbreaking to me was all of the roosters that were discarded under shrubs, along with a lot of garbage,” Davies said. “Not only did the birds meet a very brutal end, but they were tossed aside like garbage.”

Other birds had been shoved into trash bags, possibly while still alive.

Dead rooster in the shrubs
A dead rooster thrown in the shrubs with garbage | SPCA of Texas

“Some of the roosters may have been put in bags before they were dead because it looks like there may have been claw marks or peck marks to try and get out of the plastic bags,” Davies said. “It’s so horrific. Words almost fail.”

Dead roosters in garbage bags
SPCA of Texas

Then there was the cockfighting pen itself, where birds were forced to fight to the death.

“If you look closely, you’ll see blood splattered on the walls of the cockfighting pit,” Davies said.

Cockfighting pen
The pen used for cockfighting | SPCA of Texas

Davies and the SPCA of Texas team confiscated the 53 roosters, and took them to a secure undisclosed location, as people will often try to steal them back.

Davies, who visited the site of the cockfighting bust, will never forget how one of the rescued roosters snuggled into the arms of his rescuer.

Rooster rescued from cockfighting
SPCA of Texas

“That rooster seemed to be very content with our animal cruelty investigator holding him,” Davies said. “That particular investigator is very experienced with roosters and chickens, and she was petting him, and he was closing his little eyes, and he seemed quite peaceful.”

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find homes for fighting roosters, although the SPCA of Texas team will try its best to rehome all of them. Until that happens, the SPCA team is doing everything it can to make the roosters happy and comfortable.

Rescuers moving cockfighting roosters
Rescuers transporting the surviving roosters to a secure location | SPCA of Texas

“There’s absolutely got to be that sense of relief, and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to know that these roosters no longer have to face a brutal death,” Davies said.

To help the SPCA Texas rehabilitate and rehome these roosters, you can make a donation.