Legal Loopholes Help Cockfighting Thrive in Texas

Cockfighting is apparently still huge in Texas, despite being illegal for decades and being extremely cruel and all that. The Texas Tribune tagged along with officers from Dallas Animal Services as they busted up a "medium-sized" cockfighting ring.

Undercover informants from the Humane Society say the sport attracts prostitution rings, drug dealers and, obviously, gambling operations. In Texas, the penalties for cockfighting can range from six months to two years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000, but that hasn't exactly curbed its popularity. From the paper:

One by one, Domanick Muñoz pulled bloody and battered rooster bodies out of a pile of feathers, claws and beaks. The birds that were still gasping for life he put out of their misery, plunging a syringe of drugs into their gouged and lacerated bellies. Animal-cruelty officers with Dallas Animal Services took those that were already dead and gingerly placed them into large, black plastic garbage bags.

Nearby, Sgt. Alfred Nuñez of the Dallas police surveyed abandoned cars, empty beer bottles, boxes of razor blades, syringes, liquor bottles, marijuana and dozens of cages and makeshift coops with roosters inside. "This is one huge mess," he said over the cacophony of crowing birds.

Here's the Texas Tribune's depressing video:

[Image via Getty]