117 roosters, duck seized in cockfighting ring

Five seized roosters died overnight from their injuries. Other roosters have severe injuries, ranging from stab wounds all over their bodies, head trauma and concussions to broken legs, ribs and bleeding from their ears, nose or mouth.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, a wading bird and other wildlife rescue group, participated in the raid led by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Sheriff’s Department of Marlboro County. The rescue is at capacity for roosters and needs to find adoptive homes for birds already in its care, as well as the newly-seized birds.

The new roosters must be placed by April 10 or they will be euthanized. Some of those birds have already found new homes with other rescues, but about 30 remain and are available for adoption.

The all-volunteer rescue is also asking for help to buy food and medical supplies for the extra birds. The Humane Society of the United States did provide a $3,000 grant to kickstart the care.

“Rescues like ours struggle daily with funding. Our animals simply don’t have mainstream appeal,” said Jennifer Gordon, director of the rescue group. “We want to save the world, but we just can't do it alone. We really need the public's support to care for these birds and find them forever homes.”

This is the second time in less than a year the rescue group has helped provide animal care after a cockfighting bust. The rescue gained custody of nearly 150 roosters seized by police in May during a cockfighting bust. Nearly 50 people were charged for their part in that cockfighting ring.

There also were 11 dogs found on the property during the weekend raid. They were taken into custody by the Humane Society.

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