Southern California breaking news and trends

Cockadoodle don't: 388 birds rescued in raid, largest seizure of cockfighting knives in U.S. history

cockfighting knives

Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/for the Humane Society of the United States

388 birds were rescued and weapons were seized this week during a raid of a suspected cockfighting operation in Visalia, CA. The seizure of more than 1,100 cockfighting knives is the largest in U.S. history, according to a statement released by the Tulare County sheriff's office and the Humane Society of the United States.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez -- a confirmed U.S. distributer for Sanchez-Mendoza, a Mexico-based company suspected of selling cockfighting paraphernalia -- was arrested, along with his wife Leticia Aguilar Gonzalez, according to officials.

Each are charged with 1,107 counts of possession of animal fighting paraphernalia, conspiracy, and a variety of related charges.

Said Eric Sakach, senior law enforcement specialist for The HSUS, "Aggressive investigation of allegations of animal fighting is essential to maintaining community safety...We are grateful for the leadership of the Tulare County Animal Control and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office for their dedication to this case."


33 caged dogs rescued from filthy SoCal puppy mill barn

animal cages

Photo by mr. rollers via Flickr Creative Commons

Animal cages from an old zoo. The 33 dogs rescued on Wednesday from a puppy mill were found inside small collapsible crates inside a dark barn.

Officials from the Humane Society and SPCA rescued more than 30 caged dogs of different breeds, some pregnant, from an Ontario-Upland area puppy mill on Wednesday.

The dogs -- Shih Tzus, Yorkshire terriers, Pekingese, poodles, basset hounds, Chihuahuas, a husky and others -- were discovered standing in cages of their own feces and urine, said animal control officials.

Ranging in age from 3-weeks-old to 5-years-old, the animals were found without water, in small collapsible kennels, located in a barn without light or proper ventilation, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

45-year-old Luis Reynoso and 42-year-old Flor Sanchez will be charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Puppy sales were the primary source of income for the pair, and they were selling the animals for $100 each, say investigators.