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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 05:31

Warrant Served at Cockfight Property, Birds Impounded, Humanely Euthanized

THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 – Riverside County Animal Services’ officers served a search warrant at a property in the city of Jurupa Valley on Wednesday.

The property, near the corner of 34th Street and Crestmore Road in the city’s Rubidoux neighborhood, was believed to be a base for illegal cockfighting.

Wednesday’s search warrant and seizure of 45 illegal cockfighting roosters followed up Sunday’s call for assistance by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. On Sunday morning, April 13, deputies had been sent to the property after receiving a call about illegal cockfighting.

When deputies arrived, everyone fled the property. Many used a back escape route which backed up along the Santa Ana River. The property does not have a known owner or tenant. The last known owner of the property is deceased, according to public records researched by Riverside County Animal Services.

Someone has converted the property, it appears, into a home base for illegal cockfights, said Animal Services Lt. Chris Mayer, who posted the property with the search warrant. Lt. Mayer had also responded to the property on Sunday, but could not enter the property because it was secured and locked and he could not make contact or gain access from an owner or a tenant.

He sought the search warrant after seeing for himself, from the street, large structures containing roosters, “groomed in a fashion consistent with fighting roosters, having the combs and waddles removed, and housed separately in individual coops,” he wrote in his affidavit for the search warrant. Lt. Mayer obtained an emergency destruction order for the 45 roosters and the birds were humanely euthanized at the property.

Officers also discovered three dogs that were in need of veterinary treatment. The dogs appeared to have old fight wounds and some fly strikes. The dog’s wounds were not believed to have been caused by competitive dog fighting, but more likely from dogs fighting each other for whatever scraps of food were left at the property. They were all treated by veterinary staff at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter.

The dogs will continue to seek treatment and will be evaluated for possible adoption or transfer to a rescue group organization that would be willing to rehabilitate the animals. It is highly unlikely someone will come to redeem the dogs as their pets.

An empty, covered space, large enough to install a cockfighting arena, or ring, was at the property. Wood boards, the type commonly used to form such cockfighting rings, were leaning against a fence.

“We’re not sure how long this property was used for these illegal fights, but the area looks like people had been using it for some time,” Animal Services Lt. Chris Mayer said. “We found one of the old scorecards from a previous competition. The wins and losses were recorded on a piece of cardboard that was once part of a Bud Light box.”