Travis Co. Deputies bust cockfighting operation

Travis County Sheriff's Deputies bust a cockfighting ring and find a dozen dead roosters. Some of the animals still had razors strapped to their legs.

On Sunday, Travis County deputies were called to a home on Webber Oaks Cove in Webberville on a report of animal cruelty. Deputies said 30 to 40 cars were parked around the property. As the patrol vehicles approached, those gathered ran off.

When deputies searched the area, they found 12 dead roosters, some in small piles, and six roosters that were still alive, but were covered in blood.  Deputies also noted a circular arena used for cock-fighting, multiple gaffs or razors that are strapped to the roosters' legs, a weight scale and crates with roosters inside.

As deputies walked through the woods looking for participants, they located Epifanio Cenobia Contreras hiding in the brush. Deputies said he admitted to owning the residence, but denied involvement in the cockfighting. He was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.

The 20 plus roosters collected by deputies were taken to the Austin Animal Center. Shelter staff anticipates gaining custody of the roosters. As soon as that happens, they will do an appeal to the public to find homes for the birds.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office says cockfighting rings are very secretive. Deputies rarely hear about them. When they do, it's typically through a noise complaint.