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Suspected Cockfighting Operation Busted in Sullivan Co., Tenn.

The Humane Society of the United States Assists Local Authorities with Case

Nearly 40 birds were rescued by authorities in Sullivan County, Tennessee, as part of an investigation into a suspected cockfighting operation. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on a Bristol property where they suspected birds used for cockfighting were housed. The Humane Society of the United States assisted with the safe removal of the birds from the property as well as with evidence identification and collection, including suspected cockfighting paraphernalia and dead birds that were found at the scene.

Julie R. Canter, assistant district attorney in Sullivan County, said: “Cockfighting is a problem in East Tennessee, and it is a gateway crime that often leads to more serious offenses. I encourage anyone with any information or suspicions of cockfighting to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Sullivan County District Attorney's Office.”

Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting response for The HSUS, said: “Cockfighters force birds to wear sharp knives on their feet and slash each other to death. It’s a barbaric activity that we are working hard to eradicate. We are glad to be able to assist the Sullivan County authorities in their efforts to keep cockfighting out of their community.”

The HSUS animal fighting experts also assisted with evidence identification and collection. The owner has surrendered 39 birds to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

The HSUS offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting or cockfighting. Anyone with information about illegal animal fighting in their area can call the animal fighting tip line at 877-TIP-HSUS and information will be kept confidential.

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, namini@humanesociety.org, 240-778-5545