Suspected cockfighting operation raided in DeSoto County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jamel Major

Suspected cockfighting operation raided in DeSoto County

DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - The DeSoto County Sheriff's Department raided a suspected cockfighting operation on Friday afternoon.

Officials with the sheriff's department and Humane Society seized nearly 225 birds during the raid. 91 hens and chickens from the property will be taken to sanctuaries in Virginia and North Carolina. Nearly 134 roosters had to be euthanized on site and placed in orange bags.

"225 chickens...that's a lot," said neighbor Cassandra Tunstall. "Something is definitely wrong there."

Officials said the roosters were too aggressive, and were prone to injure each other.

"These birds are bred and trained to fight," said Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society. "They cannot be around other birds. They can't be socialized or placed in a sanctuary setting."

Tunstall says she's used to hearing chickens in her neighborhood, but she never imagined her neighbor would be accused of running a cockfighting operation. "I could hear noise, but by the farm being there, you wouldn't think that that was going on."
 
While investigators say they found no evidence of cockfighting, they're still convinced that's what the birds were being raised for. Pacelle said the owners "claim they were not engaged in a cockfighting operation and came up with a number of silly excuses." 

Pacelle said, "This whole operation smelled and looked like a cockfighting operation. There is no doubt in our minds these birds were being bred, raised and trained for fighting purposes."
 


Click here to send an email to Jamel Major.

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