'Bring Them To Justice': Animal Rights Group Offers Reward For Cockfighting Tips

Animal Wellness Action is asking for the community’s help as they fight against this issue in the state.

Sunday, February 4th 2024, 11:04 pm



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It's been the source of controversy for years and some have dubbed Oklahoma the cockfighting capital of the U.S.

Animal Wellness Action is asking for the community’s help as they fight against this issue in the state.

"Cockfighting remains rampant in Oklahoma," Wayne Pacelle, President of Animal Wellness Action, said.

They want to see more steady enforcement of anti-cockfighting laws and are offering a sizeable reward for information leading to arrests.

"Animals being injured and killed for human amusement and illegal gambling purposes," Pacelle described, calling the practice outdated and barbaric. "It's a crime of violence against animals."

Cockfighting in Oklahoma took center stage as an issue last legislative session and sparked controversy over a push to decriminalize and weaken anti-cockfighting legislation.

Governor Kevin Stitt also faced backlash in 2023 over support for the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission, an organization that backed pro-cockfighting legislation.

"We're inviting them to do so by having a debate at the capitol about whether cockfighting is wrong or right," Pacelle said.

Pacelle says the law is clear. But despite cockfighting and related activities carrying a felony charge, underground rings continue to come to light.

Less than a week ago, 77 roosters were rescued from an illegal cockfighting operation in Norman.

"Laws are only as good as they are enforced," Pacelle said.

So, Animal Wellness Action is asking for community help.

"By giving tips to us at animal wellness action so we can with law enforcement to bring them to justice," Pacelle added. "People committing these crimes should not get away with them any longer."

The organization is offering a $2,500 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction in a cockfighting case.

If you have information you want to share with Animal Wellness Action, email their animal cruelty tip line: OKcrueltytips@animalwellnessaction.org

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