Crime

200 roosters rescued from cockfighting ring need your help

Roosters fight each other during an illegal cockfight in Rutherford County in 2002
Roosters fight each other during an illegal cockfight in Rutherford County in 2002 dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Volunteers with the Indian Trail-based Carolina Waterfowl Rescue are caring for 200 roosters that were used for cockfighting in Eastern North Carolina. Many of the birds were severely hurt.

The all-volunteer, nonprofit rescue was contacted by law enforcement to care for the birds, after officials broke up a cockfighting ring on Sunday near Wheat Swamp, a community northwest of Kinston in Lenoir County.

The birds were receiving medical exams and assessments on Tuesday before being brought back to Indian Trail. Many of the birds have severe injuries from fighting, including missing eyes and deformed feet, said Jennifer Gordon, the rescue’s executive director.

The rescue needs financial donations to house, feed and provide medicine to the birds. Adoptive homes also are needed.

In honor of #GivingTuesday, donations made on the rescue’s Facebook page on Tuesday will be matched, up to $1,000 thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Rescues like ours struggle daily with funding,” Gordon said in a statement. “Our animals simply don’t have mainstream appeal. We really need the public’s support to care for these birds and find them forever homes.”

To donate financially to the roosters’ care, visit www.facebook.com/cwrescue/

To adopt a rooster, email adopt@cwrescue.org.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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