Crime

Cockfighting Operation Busted in South Phoenix; 132 Roosters and Hens Seized

Two men have been arrested in connection with cockfights taking place in the backyard of their home near Seventh Street and Southern Avenue.

Ademir Avalos, 20, and his brother, Jesus, 24, face three counts each of animal cruelty, according to Phoenix police.

Cops report that they received an anonymous complaint about cockfights held Wednesday afternoon, and when they arrived, about a dozen men were watching and cheering as the birds attacked each other. When the spectators saw the cops, they scattered from the yard.

The homeowners apparently are renting out their backyard to breed chickens destined for sale in Mexico. The men admitted that at least three cockfights took place on the property and that they knew bets were being placed, but they denied that any of the fighting fowl belonged to them, police said.

Cops seized several fighting-related items, including gaffs (metal spears attached to roosters' legs to maximize damage to feathered opponents) and a ledger for tracking bets. They also called animal-welfare officials, who recovered 132 roosters and hens from the property.

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo