Riverside County authorities euthanized 56 roosters Sunday after breaking up what they believed was a cockfight in Jurupa Valley.
Acting on an anonymous tip, animal control officers and deputies arrived at a property in the 9400 block of Hastings Boulevard in the Riverside County town, where they found coops and cardboard carriers filled with roosters as well as a makeshift cockfighting ring in the backyard, authorities said.
Upon the officers' arrival, about 15 men ran from the site, said John Welsh, spokesman for the county Department of Animal Services.
After authorities searched the home, property owner Mauro Oliver allowed animal control services to take the roosters.
Welsh said the birds were euthanized because otherwise they would probably be sold on the black market for hundreds of dollars and "just end right back up in cockfighting."
"We don't want to see that happen," he said.
Oliver was cited for allegedly possessing gamecocks and fighting birds, a misdemeanor, Welsh said.
A second man, identified as Gustavo Hernandez, was cited for allegedly possessing cockfighting blades, Welsh said.