How to Report Suspected Cockfighting

By eHow Legal Editor

Cock fighting is a controversial "sport' in which roosters are pitted against each other in fighting tournaments that frequently end in death. Cock fighting enthusiasts breed chickens specifically for fighting purposes and gamble on the outcome of their matches. The practice is commonly considered animal abuse and is illegal in most states. If you suspect that someone is involved in the practice of cock fighting, it's a good idea to report him to your local authorities.

Look for signs of cockfighting operations. The most obvious sign would be chickens being bred and kept outside of a farm setting. Check to see whether the chickens are contained in unsafe or unsanitary conditions and inspect for untreated wounds or other signs of animal neglect.

Gather evidence on a suspected cockfighting ring. Keep a detailed log of the suspicious things you've observed, including specific dates and time. Take pictures or videos of any relevant evidence to support your claim.

Contact your local police department. In addition to federal laws against animal cruelty, many state and local governments have laws against cockfighting.

Alert any local governmental agency that works to prevent cruelty to animals. Cockfighting and animal abuse can be such serious problems in some areas that local governments might have separate task forces to handle the issue. Check with your local city counsel to see whether such an agency exists in your area.

Contact national animal-cruelty centers. The Humane Society operates shelters that rescue and care for neglected animals, including those used in competitive-fighting contests. The Humane Society's website offers tips on how to report animal cruelty (see Resources below).

Send information on suspected cockfighting operations to non-profit organizations that expose animal cruelty. Among the most famous are PAWS and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (see Resources below).

Follow up on all your reports to ensure that action has been taken. Especially in the case of governmental agencies, justice can move slowly. Stay in touch with these organizations and continue to keep them updated on suspected cockfighting rings.