April 27, 2010
Animal Control Officers from the County Animal Services seized 17 cockfighting birds after a man attempted to smuggle them across the international border crossing at San Ysidro over the weekend. Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered the birds during routine inspections.
To keep the birds hidden and quiet, their entire bodies had been encased in nylon stockings with their legs bound together, making any movement virtually impossible. The nylon stocking covered the head to prevent the birds from clucking.
Images show the birds as they were found. Warning: Images may be considered disturbing. Image 1 | Image 2
“It never ceases to amaze me the cruel methods people dream up to mistreat animals,” said Dawn Danielson, Director of County Animal Services. “If it wasn’t for the vigilance of Customs and Border Protection, these birds would have likely continued to suffer.”
The bird owner, Raul Salcedo of Alta Dena, was transporting the birds to Mexico but was detained by Mexican authorities. When the suspect was refused entry to Mexico and sent back to the U.S., CBP agents detained him for County Animal Control Officers.
Animal Control Officers cited Salcedo for 17 counts of animal cruelty and illegal manner of transportation after interviewing the owner and assessing the situation. Salcedo surrendered ownership of all the birds.
Once the birds were released from the nylon stockings and restraints, they all showed serious signs of distress and began to rapidly drink water. In addition, the hens had eggs trapped inside them, which is very painful and once released, they began to lay their eggs to relieve the pressure. Since fighting birds are very aggressive with people and other birds, which makes them unadoptable, the roosters had to be euthanized.
The good news is that the five remaining hens may become available for adoption in the near future. The hens may be viewed at the County shelter at 5821 Sweetwater Road in Bonita.
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