Home to roost
27 roosters rescued in Austin in urgent need of new homes by Wednesday
The Austin Animal Center is seeking to find homes for 27 roosters recently rescued out of cockfighting. With local shelters full this time of year, the roosters need urgent placement in homes or sanctuaries to avoid euthanasia on Wednesday, December 21.
Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) shared the urgent plea in a press release, stating that the animal cruelty unit of the Austin Police Department had seized 43 animals in total (nine hens and 34 roosters) in a cockfighting bust on November 10. All nine hens and two of the roosters were quickly adopted, but 32 roosters remained at Austin Animal Center (AAC) and will be euthanized on if they do not find homes.
While the municipal shelter is often full this time of year, the predicament is even more pressing with the cold weather expected this weekend. As such, AAC reached out to APA! for assistance in rehoming the remaining animals, successfully placing five more roosters in sanctuaries, leaving a total of 27 at AAC.
The animals would already have been euthanized in nearly any other shelter, but thanks to the tireless work of APA! and AAC, they have had an extended timeline to find new homes.
In the release, APA! shared that time is running out for these animals, who have already been rescued from cruelty. APA!'s senior program manager, Kelly Holt, said, "These roosters did not get a happy start to life. Cockfighting is a brutal, illegal sport. We want to help give these roosters a second chance at life, because it's the right thing to do."
The release also shared that neither AAC nor APA! knows a lot about each individual rooster, but some still have their combs and wattles (the fleshy skin on top of their head and below their beak), as well as their spurs, which are horn-like leg growths the animals use to protect themselves. These are likely younger roosters who haven't yet been forced to fight.
Several older birds, whose combs, wattles, and spurs have been removed, are likely to have fought, or have been trained to fight. They may need more time and patience to adjust to new lives of peace and safety, according to the release.
As it does with adoptable cats and dogs in its traditional programs, APA! can offer support and guidance about training, rehabilitation, and care for anyone who takes in a rooster.
"It's a challenge finding these roosters safe homes, and it would be easy to shrug our shoulders," Holt says. "But I love working for an animal welfare nonprofit willing to step up and champion the lives of animals who need our help the most."
Individuals and sanctuaries interested in adopting can contact email@example.com.