Instagram cockfight videos lead to police bust and deaths of 30 abused roosters

Videos of an illegal cockfighting operation posted to Instagram have resulted in the arrest of a Fontana man and the seizure of 30 abused roosters Tuesday, police said.

Antonio Alvarez, 21, faces animal cruelty charges after officers found dead and injured roosters at his home in the 17300 block of Randall Avenue, according to the Fontana Police Department.

After authorities received an anonymous tip from a Minnesota caller, police searched Alvarez's Instagram account and found several graphic videos of roosters fighting to the death.

“We rely on tips from all over to help us track down illegal activity on social media sites, including the suspect's Craigslist ad where he was offering fighting fowl for sale,” said Supervising Animal Services Officer Jamie Simmons.

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Alvarez was using his Instagram account to promote the breeding, selling, training and fighting of roosters for cockfighting, police said.

At Alvarez’s home, police and animal control officers discovered 30 live roosters, many of which were sick and injured. All of the birds were euthanized because they were trained to fight and cannot return to farm life, police said.

Police also found dead roosters with fresh injuries that appeared to be sustained during cockfighting.

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More than a dozen short knives, which are usually attached to a fighting rooster’s legs, and so-called sparring muffs were seized at the home.

In the U.S., cockfighting is illegal and possessing a rooster for the blood sport is prohibited.

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