Following what the Sheriff’s Department termed a “multi-year investigation,” deputies raided an extensive cockfighting operation in the Santa Maria Valley on Tuesday, March 9. They found more than 800 chickens, more than half of them adult roosters used for breeding and fighting. A report of the incident from Sheriff’s spokesperson Drew Sugars noted that some of the birds would have sold for as much as $350 each. Also found on the premises were cockfighting videos, magazines, trophies, and weapons designed to be strapped to the birds’ legs when they fight.

No charges have yet been filed against anyone, though this may change in the future. Furthermore, investigators found no evidence that the cockfights were conducted in North County.

Sugars finished his statement on the matter by thanking various agencies that aided in the raid. These groups included the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deptartment, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Barbara County Animal Services, Ventura County Animal Regulation, Ventura County Humane Society, and the Humane Society of the United States.


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