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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Hens and roosters rescued after SCRAPS uncovers suspected cockfighting venture in Spokane Valley

Injuries are seen on a rooster seized along with 38 other birds from a suspected Spokane Valley cockfighting venture in this undated photo from Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.  (SCRAPS courtesy)

More than three dozens hens and roosters were being assessed for injuries Thursday after being rescued from an apparent cockfighting venture in Spokane Valley this week.

Spokane County animal control took custody of 39 birds following several complaints Wednesday, according to a news release. The hens and roosters were seized during service of a warrant in the 7100 block of East Third Avenue, said Lindsey Soffes, director of Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.

The agency expected to prepare a criminal charging request within 24 hours, Soffes said Thursday. Animal fighting is a felony under Washington state law, punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of $10,000.

“I can tell you they are being assessed currently, and they will be treated as necessary,” Soffes said. The birds are being housed at the SCRAPS facility with plans to move them to a larger area off-site soon.

SCRAPS said the “physical and living conditions, as well as other paraphernalia found at the scene” showed evidence of illegal activity.

Soffes said in her four years with the agency, they’ve served warrants to seize hens and other birds. She was unaware of any warrants served in cockfighting cases.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office provided security at the scene when animal control officials took custody of the birds. SCRAPS is leading the investigation into the matter.