By Camaron Abundes
WEST ODESSA- Rows of cages still line the backyard of an abandoned mobile home at 9060 Hubnik in West Odessa. On Monday, Animal Control Officers found 20 dead fighting roosters and 25 birds left dying, malnourished, without food or water.
"I don't remember seeing anybody there for a long time," neighbor Alicia Hernandez, who lives just down the street, said.
Hernandez says she didn't even know the birds lived in the backyard, but two other neighbors tell NewsWest 9, the home was a known cockfighting site.
On Monday, Animal Control Officers along with Ector County Sheriff's Deputies used a warrant to seize the game foul. A local veterinarian was able to observe the birds and told NewsWest 9 on Tuesday that the birds were starved and cruelly treated.
The vet spoke on condition of anonymity, because he is a part of the investigation.
"A person like that shouldn't have any animals," Hernandez said.
At the A to Z Veterinary Clinic, Veterinarians tend to all different types of animals including chickens.
Jessica R. Todia, DVM says roosters used in cockfights are often starved right before a fight to make them more aggressive. Todia says prize birds are pumped full of steroids and treated well, but other birds are neglected and often killed in the ring.
"It happens everywhere," Kelly Brown, DMV, said about animal cruelty.
Brown started at the Clinic about a year ago, held a malnourished Boston Terrier puppy a client found near a dumpster and brought in to the Clinic. Brown says a puppy that has been badly mistreated only has a fifty percent chance of survival.
"It makes you angry at people who will do this to an animal," she said.
Through Peeps and Creeps, the Clinic rescues exotic birds and reptiles. People can donate canned goods to help fund the nonprofit organization. Dr. Todia says even chickens used in cockfights can be adopted and given good homes. Dr. Todia says they can make great back yard birds.