SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — During a traffic stop on I-70, Colorado State Patrol officers found 33 roosters in homemade wooden boxes without water or food in a truck, according to a news release from the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Now, the four men who were in the truck — a Chevy Tahoe — are wanted on suspicion of animal fighting and cruelty to animals.
Warrants have been issued for Cody Lance Smith of Kentucky, 28; Kenneth D. Dotson of Kentucky, 29; Austin Clanton of Tennessee, 26; and Jose Saltos, Jr., 42.
Animal fighting is a felony and is punishable by up to three years in prison.
“Cock fighting is a very brutal sport that is outlawed in every state,” said Bruce Brown, Fifth Judicial District Attorney. “Animals rely on us for their daily care, and are not to be used as instruments of death for sports betting pleasure.”
The birds were euthanized due to the potential disease risk.
Dr. Keith Roehr, the State Veterinarian for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, said in the release game birds carry an elevated risk for a variety of diseases affecting birds.
“Because of the interstate movement of these birds into naive bird populations and the disease risks that are inherent, we recommend these birds not be placed with bird rescues or into other facilities in Colorado,” he said.