Tuesday, May 25, 2010
A team from the Animal Humane Society removed 40 birds from an alleged cockfighting breeding, training and distribution property in Lino Lakes on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Lino Lakes police officers requested assistance from the Animal Humane Society after nine people were arrested Sunday folllowing a complaint of illegal activity.
Officers from the Lino Lakes Police Department received an anonymous complaint of an illegal cock-fight. Nine people were arrested – one for felony permitting an animal fight and eight for attending an organized animal fight. Some of those arrested admitted to being at the residence to watch the fights. One individual stated that he had a $20 bet on a fight.
The Lino Lakes Police Department was assisted by the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, the Ramsey County Violent Offender Enforcement Team and building inspections. The agencies executed a search warrant where they located between 500 – 1000 chickens on the property. Forty live game-cocks, 7 dead birds, paraphernalia and other equipment were removed from the property. All of the animals taken will be held in quarantine pending a disposition hearing.
Minnesota State Statute affirms that if a bird exhibits fresh wounds or scarring that it has been trained or is being trained to fight. Cock-fighting is a felony in Minnesota and illegal in all 50 states.
Animal Humane Society Senior Humane Investigator Keith Streff describes cockfighting as “a brutal blood sport where animals are trained and forced to fight, often to the death, for the enjoyment of those in attendance.” Streff says this is one of the largest and most sophisticated breeding, training and distribution facilities he has seen since starting with the Animal Humane Society in 1987.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, Animal Humane Society along with the Lino Lakes Police Department held a joint news conference to share information regarding the alleged cockfighting operation in Lino Lakes.
Animal Humane Society Senior Humane Investigator Keith Streff and Officer Wayne Wegener from the Lino Lakes Police Department were on hand to answer questions. Below are photos from the news conference.