Man Arrested on 47 Counts of Animal Fighting

On Saturday, March 31, 2018 at approximately 10:09 am, Deputies with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence located in the 49000 block of Weld County Road 96, east of Briggsdale, in Unincorporated Weld County, reference a report of animal cruelty/cockfighting.

Upon arrival to the area, deputies spoke with the property owner. During the investigation, evidence consistent with animal cruelty/cockfighting was located. In, addition, deputies located over 47 live roosters, 1 of them being injured and fighting paraphernalia. The roosters were seized and taken to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

59-year-old, Rafael Gonzalez out of Lakewood was arrested on 47 counts of Animal Fighting (Felony 4), 4 counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (Felony 5) and Cruelty to Animals (Misdemeanor 1). Gonzalez remains confined in the Weld County North Jail Complex with a no bond.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public that rooster fighting is illegal in Colorado. These events commonly serve as gambling sites where thousands of dollars change hands. Some people in the attendance carry guns, knives, consume alcohol, use illegal drugs making it a dangerous atmosphere for people in and around the area.

All charges are merely accusations until proven guilty in a court of law. No other information will be released at this time. Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at 970-356-4015 or Crime Tip Line at 970-304-6464