Rescued roosters from illegal fight operation in Cleveland moved to farm animal sanctuary

CLEVELAND - Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary rescues and nurses abused animals from all over the Midwest. But the size of a rooster fighting operation in a Cleveland neighborhood surprised even them.

"This is probably one of the bigger ones, bigger operations are 40 to 45 birds," said Annette Fisher, Executive Director of Happy Trails.

On Friday, workers and volunteers moved 42 roosters from the Cleveland Kennel to the animal sanctuary in Ravenna. Over the weekend, Cleveland police raided the fight ring inside a house on West 30th in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood.

Fight organizers taped razor blades to the roosters' feet, since that's what the animals used to fight. Some shoot the roosters up with steroids, animal experts said.

Farm animals, like roosters, are also used to train dogs for fights.

Since many of the rooster fights generate gambling, winning roosters can be resold for big cash, up to $5,000 per bird.

Operating a dog fighting operation is a felony in Ohio, but rooster and farm animal fighting is still just a misdemeanor.

The suspect in this case has pleaded not guilty.

Happy Trails has a fundraiser Saturday March 9 at the Acker-Moore Memorial Post Banquet Hall at 3733 Fishcreek Rd. in Stow. The Art Barn event is $20 per person and includes hors d'oeuvres. Items up for sale include art, pottery, photography, jewelry and antiques donated by local artists.

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