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May 19, 2012

Suspected North Carolina Cockfighting Operation Raided

The HSUS Assisted Robeson County Sherriff’s Department in Investigation and Rescue of More than 10 Birds

The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team assisted the Robeson County Sherriff’s Department in a cockfighting investigation and raid in Robeson County, resulting in more than a dozen arrests of suspected cockfighters and the seizure of more than 10 birds. Three of the birds were dead on arrival, and all of the birds have injuries consistent with cockfighting. Suspected cockfighting paraphernalia was also found on the property. 

"Aggressive investigation of allegations of animal fighting is essential to maintaining community safety," said Janette Reever, deputy manager of animal fighting investigations for The HSUS. "We are grateful for the leadership of the Robeson County Sherriff’s Department for their dedication to this case." 

“Detectives gathered information on these fights that were happening once or twice a month. We got what we needed and executed the search warrant with the assistance of the ATF, SBI, U.S. Marshall Service, Lumberton Police Department, State Highway Patrol, Lumberton SWAT Team and The Humane Society of the United States,” said Sherriff Kenneth Sealey of the Robeson County Sherriff’s Department. “I think that this is a tragedy when people are fighting any type of animal and this will not be tolerated in Robeson County. We have other investigations going on at this time.” 

Experts from The HSUS were on hand to help identify and document evidence, coordinate the rescue effort, handle and document the birds. 

Facts

  • Cockfighting is outlawed in all 50 states and is punished as a felony in 40.
  • Cockfighting is a felony in North Carolina, but the possession of cockfighting birds and cockfighting paraphernalia is still legal.
  • 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. The HSUS asks anyone with information about animal fighting criminals to call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787). Tipsters' identities are protected. 

Media Contact: Katie Jarl, 713-516-7892, kjarl@humanesociety.org

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