Police Find Suspected Cockfighting Ring While Investigating Rainier Valley Burglary

A man who called police on Thursday to report a burglary in his Rainier Valley home is now under investigation for animal abuse after officers found dozens of fowl and signs of cockfighting in his backyard.

A homeowner called police around 1 PM after he arrived at his house in the 7900 block of Renton Avenue South and found a teenage male in his living room.

The suspect punched the homeowner in the face before running out of the house with a handful of stolen cash.

SPD officers, including a K9 team, searched the neighborhood but were unable to find the burglar. However, while police were collecting evidence at the Renton Ave. S. home, officers came across 42 roosters and hens in the yard. Many of the roosters appeared to have been bred and gruesomely altered for cockfighting including having their combs and wattles removed, typically done to reduce bleeding during cockfights. Other roosters had the spurs on their legs cut, which is typically done to accommodate the addition of fighting implements such as gaffs or knives.

The homeowner surrendered his birds to Seattle Animal Shelter’s Humane Animal Law Enforcement Officers. After examining the roosters, shelter staff were forced to euthanize many of the birds, as they had been bred and mistreated to a state of extreme aggressiveness.

Seattle police continue to work with the Seattle Animal Shelter and the Washington Gambling Commission on the investigation.