NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A woman called the Louisiana SPCA and reported some 50 cockfighting roosters in a neighbor's back lawn. But when investigators arrived at the home Wednesday, they found much more than they bargained for.
Officials say they rescued more than 700 birds in what the organization describes at the most sprawling and sophisticated illegal breeding operation they've encountered in more than a century. They discovered a warehouse full of pens used to cage the birds next to the home. In the home's backyard, they found another 150 or so makeshift cages. Hundreds more ran free.
But the biggest, most beautiful birds, worth thousands on the black market, were kept in spacious corrals in a climate-controlled shed.
The homeowner, 47-year-old Trinh Tran, was booked on cockfighting and animal cruelty charges.