CEDAR HILL- It is illegal across the country, but deputies said cockfighting is still a huge menace in rural Texas. It is a bloody sport that officers have said often invites other crimes like drugs and gambling to an area.
Cedar Hill police busted a large operation in the city on Monday. Animal officers were shocked by the sheer number of birds.
"This is one of the largest amount of roosters I've ever seen, and certainly the largest number of birds housed together like this," Maura Davies, SPCA.
Officers spent Monday scrambling to catch nearly 500 roosters.
Nearly 500 roosters from what police describe as a large cockfighting ring.
An anonymous tip led officers to this rural ranch Sunday evening. A cockfight was in progress.
"Some of these birds may be considered prize fighters in the underground community that fights roosters," Davies said.
Deputies said it is an underground community that thrives in Texas, despite the busts that send people to jail.
The sport that pits birds to the death is illegal and can bring two years in jail. Several people were detained and released, but no arrest so far.
The birds are so valuable they will be watched by an armed guard until a judge determines their fate.