Fort Wayne police and Animal Care and Control officers have seized 42 game fowl from a home on Woodbine Avenue. Detectives are investigating whether the birds were used in cock fighting.
Police wouldn't say who's responsible for the alleged cock fighting. They told me a concerned resident gave them the tip. A warrant was issued Tuesday. Animal Care and Control officers took the birds into their care today after the owner voluntarily handed them over.
Belinda Lewis, the Director of Animal Care and Control, says “It is pretty unusual to see cock fighting in an urban situation. Generally cock fighting is found in rural situations, but it was a large enough property to be housing these birds.”
The birds were euthanized earlier this evening. Animal Control officials say they were raised to be fighters; it's unsafe to keep them alive. Lewis says “You don't want to put those blood lines back into the community. Additionally there are supplements used by cock fighters we are not insinuating that they are defiantly used here, we can't discuss that right now, but for that reason you can't put these birds back into the food chain.”
Having livestock within the city limits is illegal. The director of Animal Control wants to make it clear; the city won't tolerate animal cruelty. Lewis says “We want to send a message and for us that message is blood sports, animal fighting whether is be dog fighting or cock fighting is cruelty to animals. It's unacceptable for us in this community.”
No charges have been filed yet, but will be soon.