Man arrested for alleged rooster fighting ring on Clearwater property

Local News

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A Clearwater man was arrested and charged with felony cruelty to animals after an alleged rooster fighting ring was found on his property.

Detectives responded to his house on Verona Avenue Friday afternoon around 1:50 p.m. after complaints were received about a possible rooster fighting ring.

Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said they were able to see several roosters and what appeared to be the fighting ring from the road.

Detectives made contact with Juan Ortega, 49, but said he did not consent to a welfare check of the roosters.

A search warrant was obtained from the State Attorney’s Office, allowing the detectives to enter the property.

Eleven roosters were seized and collected by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The detectives said all 11 roosters showed signs of being involved in fighting.

Other items collected from the backyard included a whip, training devices, clippers, and syringes. Detectives also said they found a marijuana grow house on the property and collected 20 marijuana plants from inside the garage.

Additional charges for the alleged marijuana grow house are pending.

Ortega was arrested and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.

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