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A man smuggling cockfighting birds into Mexico was caught over the weekend, officials said.
Raul Salcedo of Alta Dena, Calif., was refused entry into Mexico after being detained by Mexican authorities, then in turn was detained by Customs and Border Protection agents. The U.S. agents then turned over custody of Salcedo to county animal control officers, who cited him for 17 counts of animal cruelty and illegal manner of transportation.
Investigators said Salcedo had the bird encased (except for their feet, which were bound together) in nylon stockings. The nylons prevented the birds from making noise, according to authorities.
"It never ceases to amaze me the cruel methods people dream up to mistreat animals," said county director of animal services Dawn Danielson in a news release.
The roosters, which were all very aggressive, were put down, but the five remaining hens -- which are now at a shelter in the 5800 block of Sweetwater Road in Bonita -- will later be available for adoption.