BARRANQUITAS, PUERTO RICO - NOVEMBER 11, 2006: Spectators cheer on the Fighting Roosters on opening night of the Cockfighting season at the Coliseo Central De Barranquitas on November 11, 2006 in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. Heavy betting between the fans are made before and during the fights. Most of the time multiple bets are made by one person of up to several thousand dollars. all bets are paid off in cash at the end of each fight. Cockfighting, or "peleas de gallos," is a legal sport in Puerto Rico, unlike in the United States where some states have made it a felony. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
More than a hundred people are under arrest in Parker County Saturday night after investigators there raided an illegal rooster fight. Sheriff Deputies say the group gathered in a rural area north of Weatherford near Poolville.
The Parker County Sheriff's department says deputies found more than a hundred birds, some badly injured, others dead. In addition, officers found drugs and children abandoned by fleeing parents as officers raided the scene. Those kids were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services while dozens of adults were sent to jail.
Two 50-seater passenger buses, and four vans transported approximately 150 suspects from the scene to the Parker County Sheriff"s department Saturday night. All of them are suspected to be part of a cockfighting ring in Northern Parker County. The bust happened just after 3:00 PM Saturday.
"There was a lot of people there and we had air support from the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Highway Patrol, Weatherford police department. There were numerous agencies that came in to assist us," said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler.
One of the agencies involved was the Humane Society of the United States, on hand to confiscate the birds.
"We probably have somewhere between 90 and 110 birds," said John Goodwin with the Humane Society. "We found about 5 or 6 that were already dead. Graphic injuries. I mean chests cut open, internal organs coming out."
Goodwin says the severity of the birds injuries can be attributed to how the owners of the birds prepared them before each fight.
"They had brought these little one and a half inch knives to tie to their heels," said Goodwin. "So when they were fighting they were cutting and slashing each other to pieces."
Cockfighting is a crime Sheriff Fowler says he's never seen in Parker County. Those arrested will face gambling charges and possibly felony charges for their involvement in the cockfighting operation.
For now, Parker County will hold onto the birds who survived until a hearing that may take place on Monday. At that point the County will see if anyone comes forward to claim ownership of the birds.