100 roosters seized from cockfighting operation euthanized

PHOENIX - Residents in a south Phoenix neighborhood are sickened after hearing a cockfighting ring was going on just a few doors down.

Police got an anonymous tip on Christmas day. When they got to a home on the 6400 block of S. 7th Street, they saw two roosters fighting in the backyard and about a dozen men cheering them on.

When they saw police, they tried to make a run for it.

Police say brothers Jesus and Ademir Avalos were renting the backyard of the house to breed chickens to sell in Mexico.

Officers seized fighting materials, antibiotics, vitamins and scales from the backyard.

And the Arizona Humane Society took the chickens from the home.

"With these birds that have been fought, typically they fight to the death, so you see blood, you see lacerations, gashes, puncture wounds, things like that," said Bretta Nelson, with the Arizona Humane Society.

All 100 roosters had to be put down because they were in such bad shape.

"Well I'm very sad to hear that. That's a sad thing," said neighbor Guillermo Rodriguez.

Neighbors on this street say they heard the roosters at all hours of the day.

The bust by police didn't surprise one woman who didn't want to reveal her identity.

"I was concerned when I would hear them crowing. And I thought, 'What would someone be doing with so many roosters in their backyard?' And then I kind of put two and two together and figured out something was going on," she said.

She hopes the suspects don't get off easy.

"I hope they get put away and locked up in a cage and do some time," she said.

The Avalos brothers were booked on three counts of animal cruelty which are felonies.

There's also an investigation into the homeowner right now.

The 32 hens will be screened for any diseases and hopefully adopted out if they are okay.

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