Local Group Saves Over 100 Birds Seized From Cockfighting Operation

The owner of the birds is now facing felony charges of animal torture

A 39-year-old man is facing felony charges and a community group is helping over 100 birds find new homes after police busted an alleged cockfighting operation at a West Englewood home.

Police were first called to the home of 39-year-old Edilberto Saucedo-Torres on June 7 when police were called to his residence in the 5800 block of South Winchester, according to authorities. Animal control officers discovered that Saucedo-Torres had left the animals in unsafe conditions, and was charged with a pair of misdemeanors, including a charge of cruelty to animals.

“There were piles of feces, the smell was appalling, and they were overcrowded in their cages,” Chicago Roo Crew’s general counsel Julia Magnus said. “Many of them were in poor condition and had injuries.”

The Chicago Roo Crew is an organization dedicated to caring for, and finding homes for, roosters, and she received a call that evening asking if she could help place over 100 birds into new homes.

“One of the birds was missing an eye, and multiple birds were missing toes,” Magnus said.

After several weeks of hospitalization and some good old fashioned TLC, all 114 of the birds were able to find new homes.

“Everyone just started showing up, from sanctuaries to rehabbers, and food donations started pouring in,” Magnus said.

Two of the hens rescued from the home were adopted by the Little Pickle restaurant, and they romp around the backyard behind the establishment.

“They’ve really enjoyed being able to live in sort of a free-range lifestyle,” owner Lindsay Maninowski said.

The birds are already earning their keep, so to speak, laying eggs shortly after arriving at the home in a sure sign that they’re adapting well to their new environment.

Meanwhile, the man accused of keeping the birds in such squalid conditions is facing upgraded charges, as Saucedo-Torres is now facing felony animal torture charges.

With those charges, and with the birds finding new homes, Maninowski is overjoyed that the story has a happy ending for these plucky birds.

“To see so many people who love animals come together and help them out was really nice,” she said.

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