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All 32 fighting roosters rescued in Austin have found new homes

Roosters that were recently rescued from a cockfighting ring await adoption on Dec. 9, 2022, at Austin Animal Center.
Michael Minasi
/
KUT
Roosters that were recently rescued from a cockfighting ring await adoption at the Austin Animal Center.

About 30 roosters rescued from cockfighting last month have evaded euthanasia and found new homes, Austin Pets Alive announced Wednesday.

The nonprofit animal rescue has been trying to find sanctuaries for these fighting roosters over the last few weeks. The roosters were scheduled to be euthanized Wednesday, but homes were found for them in time.

The rooster saga began back in November, when the Austin Police Department Animal Cruelty Unit seized a total of nine hens and 34 roosters from a cockfighting bust. The hens and two of the roosters were swiftly adopted, leaving the city with 32 roosters on its hands. The city reached out to Austin Pets Alive, which partners with the city to help it achieve its "no kill" policy, to assist in finding them homes.

"These roosters did not get a happy start to life,” Kelly Holt, Austin Pets Alive’s senior program manager, said in a press release. “Cockfighting is a brutal, illegal sport. We want to help give these roosters a second chance at life, because it's the right thing to do."

Finding homes for the roosters wasn’t easy. The shelter said some of the roosters were younger and hadn’t yet been forced to fight, so they were easier to re-house. But the older ones, who had been trained to fight, needed to be isolated in their new homes so they wouldn't try to kill other roosters or chickens.

“They may need more time and patience, to adjust to their new lives of peace and safety,” APA said.

Ten of the roosters were adopted locally, according to APA. The others are going to sanctuaries — some as far as Ohio. Austin Farm Sanctuary will house the roosters temporarily during the freeze this week as transportation plans are worked out.

Marisa Charpentier is KUT's assistant digital editor. Got a tip? Email her at mcharpentier@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @marisacharp.
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