- COCK-A-DOODLE-DEAD: This doomed cock’s fighting days are over after he and his fellow fowl maulers were seized during an alleged cockfighting tournament.
Police raided an alleged cockfighting tournament south of Arroyo Grande on the Nipomo Mesa on Jan. 31, sending more than 300 participants fleeing into the adjoining countryside. San Luis Obispo sheriff’s deputies, Arroyo Grande police, and California Highway Patrol officers moved into the tournament a little after the 10 a.m., soon after the four-bird derby—participants are told to bring four fighting roosters—began at the 2100 block of Heidi Place.
Raymond P. Gutierrez, 52, of Santa Maria was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty. More than 129 fighting roosters were captured, as were 50 people who were suspected of participating in the cockfighting tournament. Six birds were put down due to injuries.
San Luis Obispo County has long been thought of as a center of cockfighting in California. There have been periodic police raids of cockfighting rings, including one last year that bagged more than 500 fighting cocks.
The birds confiscated in this raid will likely be euthanized, said Eric Anderson, head of San Luis Obispo County Animal Services.
“They have been trained to be aggressive, so you can’t keep them with any other chickens,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, a fighting rooster isn’t the kind of animal anyone would want unless they use them for cockfighting.”