Illegal Animal Fights on the Rise in LA - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Illegal Animal Fights on the Rise in LA

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Illegal animal fights are increasing in the LA area, especially cockfighting matches and street level dog fights. It's getting so prevalent law enforcement officials are having a tough time keeping up with the crime.  

Officials say these illegal animal fights take place every weekend. FOX 11 went along on a raid with sheriff deputies to see what they're up against. They say these illegal animal fights are so lucrative, for cockfights alone sometimes the purse can add up to 15 thousand dollars. Authorities say these illegal gambling rings are popping up faster than authorities can shut them down.

At one Antelope Valley home, LA Sheriff deputies find hundreds of roosters and coops, these animals are pawns used in an illegal cockfighting ring. Deputy Charles Friedland says, "you're pitting two large roosters with basically knives attached to the back of their feet, they're slashing each other until they die."  And along with the illegal gambling through animal fights, deputy often find more criminal activity.  Deputy Robert Ferrell, says, "it's really about the money, the gambling, the breeding of animals for money, narcotics, firearms, and the brutality that goes with it."  In the raid, deputies confiscate cockfighting kits, which include multiple blades that are used like spurs, they find a rule book and medicine to make the rooster more aggressive.

At this raid, the rooster breeder says he just sells the animals and doesn't fight them but deputies found blades and other cockfighting material on his property.  According to the humane society, 400 roosters were seized in 2010 in the San Bernardino area alone, and 43 people were prosecuted for the crime.  Cockfighting isn't the only animal blood sport bringing in money to illegal gambling rings - pit bulls are also being bred to be killers.  Deputy Ferrell says, "when one dog wins, the other dog dies."  LA sheriffs say dog fighting rings are not uncommon in Southern California and are rapidly increasing at the street level which is mostly associated with gangs.  Deputy Ferrell says, "they don't think of a dog like normal people see animals, to them it's a tool for gambling, tool for drugs, it's a tool for money."

Authorities confiscated dog fighting video after raiding a vicious gambling ring which was run out of a person's garage.  In the world of dog fighting, the value is placed on how many wins a dog has, strong ones are used for breeding, the loser has a far worse fate.  "If the dog submits, it's no use to them, they dispose of the dog," Ferrell says, "you have animals that are killed animals that are mamed, both are pit bulls that are fighting, both dogs are injured, it's not uncommon for both dogs to pass away from injuries."

Officials say about 100 people are arrested each year for cockfighting.  The first offense is a misdemeanor, the second is a felony.  Spectators can also be arrested.  Officials say they could use a lot more resources to crack down on this growing criminal trend and they say they need the public's help.  In some jurisdictions there's a five thousand dollar reward for any information leading to an arrest.

Illegal animal fights are increasing in the LA area, especially cockfighting matches and street level dog fights. It's getting so prevalent law enforcement officials are having a tough time keeping up with the crime.  

Officials say these illegal animal fights take place every weekend. FOX 11 went along on a raid with sheriff deputies to see what they're up against. They say these illegal animal fights are so lucrative, for cockfights alone sometimes the purse can add up to 15 thousand dollars. Authorities say these illegal gambling rings are popping up faster than authorities can shut them down.

At one Antelope Valley home, LA Sheriff deputies find hundreds of roosters and coops, these animals are pawns used in an illegal cockfighting ring. Deputy Charles Friedland says, "you're pitting two large roosters with basically knives attached to the back of their feet, they're slashing each other until they die."  And along with the illegal gambling through animal fights, deputy often find more criminal activity.  Deputy Robert Ferrell, says, "it's really about the money, the gambling, the breeding of animals for money, narcotics, firearms, and the brutality that goes with it."  In the raid, deputies confiscate cockfighting kits, which include multiple blades that are used like spurs, they find a rule book and medicine to make the rooster more aggressive.

At this raid, the rooster breeder says he just sells the animals and doesn't fight them but deputies found blades and other cockfighting material on his property.  According to the humane society, 400 roosters were seized in 2010 in the San Bernardino area alone, and 43 people were prosecuted for the crime.  Cockfighting isn't the only animal blood sport bringing in money to illegal gambling rings - pit bulls are also being bred to be killers.  Deputy Ferrell says, "when one dog wins, the other dog dies."  LA sheriffs say dog fighting rings are not uncommon in Southern California and are rapidly increasing at the street level which is mostly associated with gangs.  Deputy Ferrell says, "they don't think of a dog like normal people see animals, to them it's a tool for gambling, tool for drugs, it's a tool for money."

Authorities confiscated dog fighting video after raiding a vicious gambling ring which was run out of a person's garage.  In the world of dog fighting, the value is placed on how many wins a dog has, strong ones are used for breeding, the loser has a far worse fate.  "If the dog submits, it's no use to them, they dispose of the dog," Ferrell says, "you have animals that are killed animals that are mamed, both are pit bulls that are fighting, both dogs are injured, it's not uncommon for both dogs to pass away from injuries."

Officials say about 100 people are arrested each year for cockfighting.  The first offense is a misdemeanor, the second is a felony.  Spectators can also be arrested.  Officials say they could use a lot more resources to crack down on this growing criminal trend and they say they need the public's help.  In some jurisdictions there's a five thousand dollar reward for any information leading to an arrest.

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