152 cockfighting birds discovered in home near Desert Hot Springs

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. (KABC) -- Riverside County Department of Animal Services officers discovered more than 100 roosters that were used for illegal cockfighting near Desert Hot Springs Tuesday.

Authorities were first contacted to investigate the property, located off Virgo Road in an unincorporated area of Riverside County, after reports of gunshots were heard near the home. The property is located in a rural area that borders a southwestern section of Joshua Tree National Park.

A man who said he was the owner of the birds relinquished them to animal control officers. The man was later detained and deported by Border Patrol agents.

The animal services officers worked in partnership with the U.S. Border Protection agents because two residents at the property were believed to be living in the country illegally.

Six animal control officers spent several hours on the property and humanely euthanized 152 birds.

Lt. Luis Rosa of Riverside County Animal Services would like to remind residents to contact the department if there is a suspicion of birds that may be housed for illegal cockfights or if a cockfight event is happening in their neighborhood.

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