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Traffic Stop Uncovers Fighting Birds in Hopkins County

Photo courtesy SPCA of Texas
Seized roosters and hens at the SPCA facility in Dallas.

The SPCA of Texas Thursday announced the seizure of more than five dozen fighting birds and alleged cockfighting paraphernalia from a van Tuesday night.

According to authorities, sheriff’s deputies in Hopkins county pulled over a van on I-30, only to discover a clutch of alleged cockfighting paraphernalia and 63 roosters and hens. 

In a statement, the SPCA of Texas said investigators "have probable cause to believe that the birds were bred for the purpose of being fought because some of them were already dubbed and because of the presence of cockfighting paraphernalia in the vehicle with the roosters."

The SPCA and the association’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit took custody of the birds yesterday morning. The birds were taken to the SPCA’s facility in Dallas and will be evaluated for potential potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis, according to the SPCA's Dallas office.

Police charged 25-year-old Jose Salas of El Paso charged with two counts of a Class A misdemeanor for cockfighting. He faces up to a year in jail and a $4000 fine.

Scott Morgan has been an award-winning journalist since 2001. His work has appeared in several newspapers and magazines as well as online. He has also been an editor, freelancer, speaker, writing teacher, author, and podcaster.