8 charged in northwest Georgia cockfighting ring

11 dead birds found at scene
Eleven roosters were found dead in north Georgia after police broke up a cockfighting ring. (File photo)

Eleven roosters were found dead in north Georgia after police broke up a cockfighting ring. (File photo)

Eight people were arrested Tuesday night after local northwest Georgia deputies broke up a cockfighting ring.

The raid took place on Hurtt Road in Chickamauga, according to WDEF.

Two roosters were reported to be fighting in a cage when Walker County deputies broke up the operation. Police found 11 dead birds in a cage.

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Seven men ranging in age from 37 to 50 and a 22-year-old woman are facing a range of cruelty to animal charges.

Suspects identified are Shane Lamar Dempsey, Michael Shane Frye, David Brian Long, Richard Carter Lusk, Robert Edward Clingan, Kevin Wayne Smith and Cody Dewayne Smith.

Christian Lea Nicole Clingan was with them.

“We applaud the Walker County Sheriff’s Department for yesterday’s arrests and for their work to end the horrific practice of cockfighting that continues to plague the U.S. and its territories,” said Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action. “The vast majority of gamecocks bred and raised in states like Georgia continue to be shipped around the globe transmitting terrible plagues such as Newcastle disease and Avian influenza. Cockfighting is not only inhumane, and unconscionable, but is also a breeding ground for the next major pandemic such as COVID-19.”

Current law, the organization said, makes it a felony to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture; to buy, sell, deliver, possess, train, or transport an animal for fighting purposes; to use the Postal Service or other interstate means to promote animal fighting; to buy, sell, deliver, or transport cockfighting implements; and to bring a minor to an animal fight. Participants at animal fighting events also can be charged with federal misdemeanors.