Target: Alan Blankenship, Associate Circuit Judge, Stone County Circuit Court, Missouri
Goal: Ensure that the criminal leading a cockfighting ring serves the maximum sentence and pays maximum fines.
More than 200 birds were rescued from a property associated with cockfighting in Missouri recently. Investigators found birds in ramshackle wire cages, with no access to food or water. Several birds were found with injuries that were in line with cockfighting; cockfighting paraphernalia such as gaffs, spurs, and drugs (to maximize injury and enhance performance, respectively) were also found on the property. The cockfighting operation was discovered during an investigation that initially involved a search warrant for narcotics. The ASPCA was contacted, and both authorities carried out the warrant.
Cockfighting causes extreme injuries to the animals. Common injuries include broken bones, punctured lungs, and pierced eyes. The gaffs and spurs found cause these injuries, and the steroids cause enhanced aggression in the birds. There is a maximum fine of $10,000 and separate sentences of up to four years in prison for possession of paraphernalia and possession of birds.
There is no excuse for condoning such a distasteful activity. Demand the criminal who forced these animals to fight and suffer terrible conditions receive the maximum penalty for each offense.
Dear Judge Blankenship,
According to several sources including the ASPCA, more than 200 birds were rescued recently from a property associated with cockfighting in Stone County, Missouri. Police were initially at the site with a search warrant for narcotics, but soon discovered paraphernalia for cockfighting. Authorities found steroids to enhance aggression in the birds and fighting paraphernalia such as knives and daggers that would be attached to the birds at the property. In addition, birds were found in makeshift wire cages with no access to food or water. As you know, possession of birds and paraphernalia for fighting, and conducting a cockfight, have a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison each. An offender can also be fined up to $10,000.
I ask that you fine whoever led this cockfighting ring the maximum fine and sentence them to the appropriate number of years in prison. This illegal act condemns birds to inhumane conditions and makes them suffer from terrible injuries such as punctured lungs, pierced eyes, and broken bones. Whether it be dog or rooster, no animal should be forced to fight another for human entertainment. I hope that you think of the two hundred birds found at this residence; many of them have already been forced to endure atrocious conditions and serious injuries.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: JohnstonDJ