Expert: Roosters seized in weekend cockfighting bust will have to be put down

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- New video released Monday show dozens of birds that were confiscated in a cockfighting bust that happened over the weekend.

The bust happened in South Phoenix, near 27th Avenue and Pima Street. 27 people were detained on Sunday, and as of Monday, one man, identified as 50-year-old Robin Arreaga, has been charged with 70 counts of felony cockfighting. Meanwhile, those who were watching the fights could face misdemeanor charges.  

Police say they got a call about someone who was cut on their face, and once they got to the property, they discovered much more. Once inside, police found dozens of roosters, chickens, cages and other supplies used for fighting. There were also dead animals. 

All 168 animals seized from the property are now in police custody, and being cared for at the Arizona Humane Society.  

"This is a pretty large case," said Bretta Nelson with the Arizona Humane Society. "I've been on ones where there was 300 birds involved, so, sadly, it is something we see at least a few times a year."

Forensic Veterinarian Dr. Nancy Bradley, as well as several of her students from Midwestern University are now in the process of testing the birds for signs of fighting, alterations to their bodies, and cuts and lacerations.

"They use their instinct to fight, and then they ramp it up by giving them drugs that stimulate them and putting these razors on their legs," said Dr. Bradley.

Dr. Bradley says some of the animals taken from the property like the chickens, rabbits and ducks may be available for adoption, but in most cases, the roosters will all have to be put down because of the drugs they've been injected with.

"With the actual cockfighting roosters, if they've been used to fight, they may have been injected with Strychnine, methamphetamine, they use all types of anabolic steroids and plus, they've been trained to fight," said Dr. Bradley. "We just got through doing quite a few examinations on these birds and we have to use large gloves. They're pretty mean. The potential to adopt these animals is not going to happen."

There are signs of cockfighting that people can be on the lookout for, such as people seeing the animals coming and going, in an area that doesn't allow for these types of animals. People are urged to call police if they see such suspicious activities.