NEW ORLEANS -- Trinh Tran, the man who had hundreds of roosters and hens, allegedly used for cockfighting, taken from his back yard yesterday, is out on $15,000 bond. He's booked with simple and aggravated cruelty to animals.
The SPCA is now stretched to the limits caring for them.
The sound of crowing and clucking was loud as nearly 700 roosters, hens and their chicks packed the SPCA; they were seized Wednesday from one location on Chef Menteur Highway. The males have been shot up with blood clotting drugs before their combs and waddles are chopped off, so while fighting, there's less blood. They will never grow back. One SPCA veterinarian has the job of examining each one for evidence, injury and illness.
"This particular operation was very professional, very well organized, clearly had not just popped up. And I suspect there's more out there like this," said Ana Zorrilla, CEO of the Louisiana SPCA.
Right now, it's all hands on deck. They're in a temporary shelter that was scheduled to be torn down. Every crate is used. They even have makeshift ones. And the administrators have had to leave their desks and come out to feed all of the chickens, hens and roosters. Tran's alleged illegal operation, is costing tax payers $2,000 a day.
The birds were given steroids, trained in weighted boots to strengthen leg muscles for the gaffs or knives strapped on during a fight. Losers die. Winners breed. The SPCA is reaching out to agencies, veterinary schools, families who raise hens for fresh eggs, to place them. Most likely the roosters, trained to be aggressive, will be euthanized.
"We reached out to a sanctuary that rehabilitates fighting roosters, they're over capacity and unable to take any from us," said Zorrilla.
Avian veterinary specialist Dr. Greg Rich, says it's a total misconception to think animals don't feel pain.
"Certainly with the blades that you see, and that strong beak and the talons that they have, the lacerations, the cuts, the punctures, it's painful. Any animal where you see blood after an injury, that injury is a painful injury, said Dr. Rich of The West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic in Metairie.
He says the birds are at risk and will have to be checked for parasites and salmonella.
Roosters are illegal for any purpose in Orleans Parish.
If you know of any cock fighting or animal cruelty, call the anonymous tip line at 504-368-5191, extension 100.