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June 26, 2010

The HSUS Assists in Major Tenn. Cockfighting Raid

POLK COUNTY, Tenn. — An investigation initiated by The Humane Society of the United States led to a Polk County Sheriff's Office raid of a suspected large-scale animal fighting operation, resulting in more than 100 people being charged with cockfighting.

Agents from the USDA's Office of Inspector General, the IRS' Criminal Investigative Division and the Tennessee Highway Patrol also participated in today's action.

Authorities seized approximately 150 roosters, many believed to have been brought in from out of state for purposes of illegal animal fighting to the property located in Ducktown, Tenn.

"A large number of those charged today came from Georgia and North Carolina where cockfighting is a felony," said John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The HSUS. "As long as cockfighting offenses remain a misdemeanor in Tennessee, the Volunteer State will continue to be a magnet for cockfighters."

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). Tipsters' identities are protected.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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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