Birds ‘Groomed to Fight’ Removed from Home

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CLEVELAND– Cleveland police and kennels were called to West 60th Street and Madison Avenue just before noon Thursday after allegations of a cockfighting ring.

“We removed about 95 some birds, some hens, wild turkeys, and doves,” said John Baird, animal control officer.

The chief of the Cleveland Kennels said they found equipment that could be used for cockfighting inside the home.

“It appeared some some of the birds had been groomed to fight,” added Baird.

“They never fight roosters. When there is a fight, there is a ring.  And when you pull up the ring, there would be marks. There are no marks in the backyard and there’s not even space,” said Walter Vazquez, a friend of the homeowner.

The homeowner is an elderly man who has not been charged with a crime.

However, police say it is illegal to have a rooster in the city without a permit.

“I’ve come over here a lot. I’ve never seen or knew of any cockfighting. He has chickens and feeds and takes care of them,” said Robin Hardway, daughter of the homeowner.

Meantime, the birds have been taken to the Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna.

They will be assessed and then put up for adoption.

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