Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Antonio Valencia, 44 Cockfighting

Santa Rosa, CA

Sonoma County

December 20, 2000  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse

256 roosters



Sonoma County sheriff's officials broke up a huge cockfighting operation, ending what they said were twice-a-week betting contests behind a rural Santa Rosa home.

As one man went to jail, 256 roosters that had been bred to kill didn't get much of a reprieve, many of whom were covered in slashes, were missing eyes, and “looked like they had been through a tornado,” according to sheriff’s deputy Andy Cash.  They were put to death by county animal control officers.

Cash said the number of birds involved in the bust was the most any Sonoma County official could remember. While illegal in California, cockfighting is not rare in rural areas.

Acting on a tip from neighbors, deputies searched two homes in the same block on Taft Road in Santa Rosa and arrested Antonio Valencia, 44. Valencia, who cooperated with authorities, was being held in the Sonoma County Jail on $10,000 bail. He is charged with possession of fighting gamecocks, possession of bird fighting equipment and felony cruelty to animals.  Also uncovered at the property were 200 sets of stainless steel razor-edged spurs, steroids and antibiotics, and a ten-foot fighting ring.

Investigators may make more arrests in the case later.

Inside three barns on the two properties, deputies discovered hundreds of birds in cages, 200 sets of stainless steel razor-edged spurs, devices to attach the blades to the roosters' feet, steroids and antibiotics. Also on the property was a ring, 10-feet in circumference, where the fights apparently took place.

The homes are in southern Santa Rosa about a half-mile from Santa Rosa Avenue, in an area Cash described as a "farm area." Neighbors have complained about the goings on there.

Animal control officials spent the day at the property euthanizing the birds with lethal injections. Because they are bred for battle and fed steroids to increase their strength, authorities have no other choice than to put them to sleep, Cash said.


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