Rooster Follow Up
I have sad news about the roosters to report. Since my first story about their being traumatized, I continued to feed them. But they were not happy. They continued to be very skittish. The one whose tail feathers were gone seemed especially different and became aggressive toward the others. Then one morning there were three. The next morning there were only two. I saw a tarp peeking out from the top of the privacy fence where they seemed to sleep at night. Then I noticed the tarp was bouncing like it was being pushed up from the bottom. I could hear a thudding noise coming from under the tarp and heard the roosters clucking and crowing now and then. I knocked on the door of the house. A middle aged man answered. I asked what was going on with the roosters. He said, “What roosters?” I said the ones under the tarp in your back yard. “I don’t live here,” he said. I came home and wrote a note to the owner, giving her my first name and phone number. “If you need help finding the roosters a good home, please call me.” I gave it to woman coming out of the house. A third woman ( middle aged ) came out of the house and walked toward me. I asked her what was going on with the neighborhood roosters. “They are none of your business. They belong to us,” she said. “They are on our property, and you are trespassing.” I said frantically, “Are you going to eat them?” She came up to my face and said, “Got off this property.” I said, “I am going to call the ASPCA then.” She said, “And I will have you arrested for trespassing.” I left feeling helpless…pretty devastated. It wasn’t until then that I started to wonder what was really going on. I started researching cock fighting. Some of the images looked like these roosters. I learned that cock fighting and dog fighting are actually very common. They prep the roosters to fight by pitting them against each other to make them aggressive. They cut off the feathers and the wattle so they don’t get torn off in the fight. Both roosters ultimately die, if not in the fight, from the wounds inflicted by the razor blade devices they tie to their legs. They pump them full of steroids and pit them against each other. Because large amounts of money are involved in the gambling, there are often other crimes involved, such as gang activity, violence, and drugs. Not only are roosters outlawed in our city limits, owning a fighting rooster is a felony in many states and fighting roosters is a felony in all states. As I put the pieces together, I have a very bad feeling that this is what is going on. “Do I dare get involved?” I posted messages to our neighborhood newsletter and Face Book. I talked to friends who warned me not to for my own safety. I finally made the decision to call the police and tell them my suspicions. They did come and said they would check it out. I have heard nothing since. There is one lone rooster crowing now and then, as several of the roosters used to do with each other. I felt two weeks ago that my time with the roosters was limited and I tried to detach myself as much as I could. This has still hit me very hard. If these were fighting roosters and owning them is illegal, they never really had a chance. I am still struck at their calm and friendly behavior with each other and with me until they were apparently interfered with humans who encouraged aggressiveness. What does that say about our species? The outpouring of concern by my friends, including those on Face Book, has been the only thing that has helped soften the sadness.