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Animal fighting for sport is illegal
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The way a society treats, or allows animals to be treated is a direct reflection of its civility and sophistication. Accordingly, state and federal law strictly prohibits the abuse of domestic animals; in particular, ensuring that they are properly fed, cared for, and not abused. There are two forms of animal abuse that are predominate here in this region: dog and rooster ("cock") fighting, which are so-called "sports" that some people engage in for entertainment and gambling purposes.

Rooster fighting involves male chickens that are placed in a "pit," usually with a raucous audience in attendance. Children are frequently present to observe the carnage. The birds are outfitted with sharp knifes that are attached to their feet for the purpose of maiming, or more often, killing their opponents. These weapons can be purchased online and come in single and double-edged versions. These birds are selectively bred to be tough and aggressive, and are often given drugs to increase their fierceness and endurance. The contest ends only when one of the birds dies or becomes too weak to continue. The loser, or in some cases, both roosters, often end up in a garbage can after the fight, whether dead or alive. These animals exist for no other purpose, such as for breeding laying hens or meat chickens. The participants of these cruel and illegal activities claim it to be a legitimate "sport," with some people even asserting that it is part of their culture, and therefore morally acceptable. In fact, the driving force behind cock fighting is the profit behind it. It also satisfies, for some, their thirst for blood, but gambling is the mainstay of cock fighting.

Cock fighting is outlawed in all 50 states and is punishable as a felony, reflecting our American society's intolerance of animal mistreatment. It is illegal to possess, raise, train, trade or advertise fighting roosters. Law enforcement has established a clear connection between the illegal drug underworld and cock fighting.

The blood sport of dog fighting, another element of the underbelly of our society, is a vulgar activity that is driven by a sick, dark psychological manifestation in some people. Most of us cannot understand the attraction to it. Dog-fighting circles are tight-knit and very secretive. And since this activity involves betting, it is very lucrative for the criminals involved. Criminal gangs are known to be dog fighting aficionados, and they are likely to be engaged illegal drug activity, arms dealing, auto thefts, and other serious crimes.

Dog fighting involves specially bred and trained dogs, usually Pit Bulls or similar breeds. One sad but common practice is for the owners of these dogs to pick up stray dogs (and sometimes cats) to supply their fighter dogs with practice animals and to keep them bloodthirsty. People wishing to give away their dogs should be careful and make sure that they are not unwittingly giving up their pet to a criminal who intends to allow it to be torn to shreds by a fighting dog.

In California, these kinds of crimes are covered by both state and federal statutes. Police in Stanislaus County are aware of the illegal dog and rooster fighting that is taking place in our community. And since it is a sick and inhumane "sport," they actively investigate and seek the maximum punishment for violators. To be clear, anyone who is caught engaging in dog or rooster fighting, betting on these events, or is merely present at one of these fights will be arrested.

If you suspect people who are involved in these illegal activities or know of locations being used for either dog or rooster fighting, please be sure to contact your local police department, sheriff's department, or animal services. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 521-4636, by texting "tip 704" followed by your message to 274637 or via the Internet at