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April 4, 2009

Doña Ana County, NM Sheriff Raids 7 Alleged Cockfighting Operations

The Humane Society of the United States

DONA ANA COUNTY, N.M. — The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department for raiding seven alleged cockfighting operations in one day. Authorities arrested four people and additional arrests are pending. Cockfighting experts with Attorney General Gary King's Animal Cruelty Task Force and The Humane Society of the United States were invited to assist with the raid.

"Cockfighting is a cruel and barbaric practice, and for cockfighting enthusiasts to take part in this blood sport for gambling and recreation is despicable," said John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The HSUS. "We are grateful to the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department for cracking down on this form of animal cruelty."

Along with the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department, agencies assisting with Saturday's raid included The Humane Society of the United States, Attorney General Gary King's Animal Cruelty Task Force, Las Cruces Police Department and Las Cruces Animal Control.

The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. 

About Cockfighting:

  • Tens of thousands of people are involved in cockfighting nationwide.
  • Common cockfighting practices include breeding birds for viciousness, drugging them to heighten aggression and fitting their legs with razor-sharp knives or gaffs, which resemble curved ice picks.
  • Law enforcement raids across the country have revealed that cockfights, which are frequently attended by children, often involve firearms and other weapons due to the large amounts of cash present for gambling.
  • Law enforcement officials have documented a strong connection between cockfighting and the distribution of illegal drugs. 

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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