Lakewood man arrested in Weld County on cockfighting charges; 47 roosters seized

WELD COUNTY, Colo. – A Lakewood man faces 47 felony counts of animal fighting and other charges after deputies discovered a suspected cockfighting ring in Weld County.

Rafael Gonzalez, 59, faces the 47 counts of animal fighting, in addition to four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of animal cruelty.

He was arrested after Weld County deputies searched a home off Weld County Road 96, east of Briggsdale, on Saturday after someone reported cockfighting was happening at the property, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies found “evidence consistent” with animal cruelty, the sheriff’s office said, and seized 47 live roosters from the property along with fighting paraphernalia.

One rooster that was injured was treated at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where all the roosters were taken, according to the sheriff’s office.

Gonzalez remains held without bond at a Weld County jail. Anyone with more information about the case is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at 970-356-4015.

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