SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) and In Defense of Animals (IDA) are announcing the launch of a new campaign to expose those who participate in illegal cockfights across the United States. The initiative, Crush Cockfighting (crushcockfighting.com), has set SHARK and IDA investigators to pour over Facebook accounts of self-professed cockfighters and collect evidence of their illegal acts. The organizations today reveal evidence that exposes criminal cockfighting by a father and son pair of law enforcement officers from Harlan County, Kentucky.
“Our inaugural report deals with Ronnie Bennet and Kyle Simpson, two Kentucky law enforcement officers who are also father and son,” states SHARK Investigator Stuart Chaifetz. “We were shocked to see how open and brazen these Harlan County Detention Center employees are with their illegal cockfighting farm and operation, and that may very well be because they think they are untouchable. We are here to put an end to that notion. Cockfighting is cruel and illegal and we are calling for a full FBI investigation into this matter.”
“It is deeply concerning that two men charged with law enforcement are flaunting their own criminal conduct on Facebook,” said Fleur Dawes, Communications Director at In Defense of Animals. “Cockfighting is an incredibly cruel bloodsport, which arms animals with razor blades to fight to the death. We seek justice for each of the roosters who suffered at these men’s hands, and call on members of the public to support our work to crush cockfighting nationwide.”
The two officers work for the Harlan County Detention Center, where Bennet is a Captain, and run a rooster breeding operation called the “Cuttin Up Gamefarm.” There are at least three other people associated with this cockfighting ring who live in Virginia, making this a potential interstate criminal organization. SHARK and IDA have sent the evidence to the FBI and asked them to investigate.
SHARK and IDA have already uncovered dozens of suspected cockfighters. SHARK will be sending that evidence to the proper authorities. This includes other interstate and international organizations that deal with illegal cockfighting.
Featured image: an image posted on Facebook by Kyle Simpson shows the officers with cockfighting birds and a trophy. The original post read “Ole Cuttin Up got in the money again! 4 straight! #CuttinUpGameFarm.” Image via In Defense of Animals Media.