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November 17, 2009

The HSUS Assists Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Raid of Alleged Cockfighting Operation

The Humane Society of the United States

EUDORA, Kan. — The Humane Society of the United States lent its expertise and support to local humane and law enforcement authorities in an important raid on an alleged cockfighting operation in Eudora, Kan. on Tuesday. Douglas County authorities arrested two people and seized 169 birds.

"A clear message is being sent to animal abusers in Kansas: The law and the agencies behind it are cracking down on this crime. The Douglas County Sheriff and District Attorney should be lauded," said John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The HSUS. "Allegations of cockfighting should not go uninvestigated in Kansas."

Tuesday's raid was a multi-agency effort. The Douglas County District Attorney's Office assisted with the serving of the warrant. The Sheriff's office conducted the raid, the Lawrence Humane Society supplied information that led to the launch of the investigation and its Douglas County Animal Response Team was the lead agency in handling  and transporting the confiscated  birds. Animal fighting experts with The Humane Society of the United States supplied professional expertise and assisted in the identification of potential evidence.

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. Anyone with information about animal fighting criminals is asked to call 877-TIP-HSUS (847-4787). Your identity will be protected.

In April 2009, the Kansas legislature enacted H.B. 2060, which made cockfighting a class 10 felony, and this raid was believed to be the first under its provisions.

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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