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Cockfighting operation busted in Tulare County, officials say

Cockfighting knives

Tulare County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a couple suspected of running a cockfighting operation and seized what is being described as one of the largest hauls of cockfighting knives in the country.

Deputies seized 388 fighting cocks and more than 1,100 cockfighting knives Tuesday, according to a statement released by the sheriff's office and the Humane Society of the United States.

The raid took place at a home in Goshen, a rural community in Tulare County, said Sgt. Chris Douglass, spokeswoman for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Fighting roosterDeputies arrested Juan Carlos Gonzalez and his wife, Leticia Aguilar Gonzalez. They were booked on suspicion of possession of cockfighting paraphernalia, possession of fighting cocks and maintaining a place for cockfighting, Douglass said.

Douglass said deputies were alerted to the house by Humane Society officials.

Humane Society officials who investigated the couple said Juan Gonzalez is listed in advertisements in a cockfighting magazine as the U.S. representative of a company in Mexico that makes the cockfighting knives that are attached to the roosters' claws during the fights.

"Animal fighting has no place in Tulare County," said Paul Grensemen, manager of Tulare County Animal Control Shelter. "Abuse of this nature attracts additional elements of criminal activity and only serves to compound already unethical and illegal conduct."


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Photos: Cockfighting knives and fighting rooster seized at home in Goshen in Tulare County. Credit: The Humane Society of the United States

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