CEDAR HILL – Under the authority of the Cedar Hill Police Department, the SPCA of Texas seized 1,601 animals – 1,000 eggs; 587 fighting roosters, hens and chicks; 10 dogs and puppies; two rabbits and two geese – on Monday from 551 Knight St. in Cedar Hill.

The bodies of two roosters that appeared to have died from fighting were also found.

“The majority of the roosters, hens and chicks were being housed in makeshift cages and hutches that were lined up as far as the eye could see, packing the back half of the property,” an SPCA spokesman said. “Some were running loose on the property, some were running loose inside a house and many others were housed in pens in a barn.” Eggs were found both inside the house on the property in incubators (about 400 of the eggs) and outside in various roosting containers (about 600 eggs). Eight of the dogs and puppies were roaming the property and two dogs were found in pens next to the barn. The rabbits were in enclosures inside the barn and geese were found in pens.

The birds’ water was contaminated with feces and there was no food in the enclosures, according to the SPCA spokesman.

The animals were transported to a secure location, where they will be cared for under armed guard until the custody hearing, which will be held March 22 at the Municipal Court at the Cedar Hill Government Center. The birds that survived the fight will be treated by SPCA of Texas medical staff.??

The Cedar Hill Police Department received an anonymous tip from a concerned resident on Sunday that a cockfight was in progress, according to the reports. After securing the scene, the Cedar Hill Police department called the SPCA of Texas for assistance with the birds.

“This is the largest-scale rooster seizure that we’ve been involved in,” said Ann Barnes, senior vice president of operations for the SPCA of Texas. “Cockfighting is a brutal, horrific, illegal activity that, sadly, occurs all over the state of Texas. We’re thankful to the Cedar Hill Police Department for sending a strong message that this criminal activity will not be tolerated in their city.”

Cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states, including Texas, where it is a felony, punishable by two years in a state jail and or a $10,000 fine. It is a felony in 35 states and the District of Columbia and a misdemeanor in 15 states. Since 2002, a federal law has prohibited any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.?If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody of the animals, they would be individually evaluated for potential placement on a case by case basis.

To help the SPCA of Texas fund future efforts like this and to support the SPCA of Texas’ other programs and services, visit http://www.spca.org/helptheanimals. To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, visit its website at http://www.spca.org.