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Alleged cockfighting ring uncovered in rural San Diego County

February 20, 2011 |  7:01 pm

An alleged cockfighting ring with an estimated 400 birds has been uncovered in Rainbow, a rural community in northern San Diego County, the county Department of Animal Services said Sunday.

Seven people were arrested over the weekend -- four on suspicion of owning birds trained for fighting and three for allegedly watching a cockfight when an Animal Services officer arrived Saturday. All seven face misdemeanor charges.

An Animal Services officer came upon the alleged ring when she was on a call looking for a loose dog, officials said.

Along with birds kept in cages, Animal Services officers also found the kind of knives that are attached to the birds to allow them to slash each other during a fight, according to Lt. Dan DeSousa.

Most of the birds will have to be euthanized because they have been trained to be aggressive, DeSousa said. "At least they will receive a humane death rather than a horrible death during a fight," he said.  

Rainbow, a community of about 2,000, is just east of Interstate 15, about 50 miles north of San Diego.


Hundreds of birds found in major cockfighting ring will be euthanized

-- Tony Perry in San Diego