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Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies and Animal Services officers broke up a cockfighting event late Friday night in Jurupa Valley.

The illegal event took place at a property in the 5900 block of Troth Street and involved almost 150 birds.

Standby officers received the call shortly after 11 p.m. and arrived on scene at about midnight.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was already on scene because they had been called out after reports of a loud and large event.

More than 200 people were present and scattered after deputies arrived. Deputies discovered many dead or severely injured birds.

Deputies provided assistance to Animal Services and they stayed with the officers until they were finished gathering all the birds and humanely euthanized them, a process that lasted until about 6 a.m.

The birds must be euthanized because Animal Services cannot adopt out such birds as they are valuable and they would almost always end up back in a cockfighting ring. They are not suitable as pets.

A man had claimed ownership of the 143 birds and relinquished them to the officers. He was cited for a misdemeanor for possession of fighting blades used in such events.

It remains an open investigation. Animal Services is likely to seek felony animal cruelty charges be filed with the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

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