Rafael Huertamartin, 56, of Colma, in Northern California, was arrested after reportedly being found with 20 chickens, of which 12 were roosters modified (altered) for cockfighting.
He was also charged with felony animal abuse for amputating their combs and fitting the roosters with metal spurs, the San Mateo Daily Journal reports.
Huertamartin was arrested on Feb. 27 when a tipster called the SPCA/Peninsula Humane Society to report a cockfight in progress behind Estrada’s Mexican Market.
The Peninsula HS investigator responded with police officers and reported finding 20 game fowl. The 12 game cocks had been dubbed — the removal of their comb and waddle to reduce weight and potential injury — and had metal spurs attached, according to the investigator.
Prosecutors charged Huertamartin with one count of felony animal abuse and misdemeanor counts of permitting bird fighting and possessing game cocks.
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the felony charge is because of the amputation of the birds.
On Friday, Huertamartin pleaded not guilty to all charges and did not waive his right to a speedy trial, according to the Journal.
Bail was set at $50,000 and he was ordered back to court March 12 for a preliminary hearing.
(Colma is a small incorporated town in San Mateo County, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area.)
Source: SM Daily Journal