2 charged, 60 birds rescued after Brooks Co. cockfighting ring gets busted

2 charged, 60 birds rescued after Brooks Co. cockfighting ring gets busted
Denise Smiley was one of the first to offer permanent refuge for some of the birds. (Source: WALB)
Denise Smiley was one of the first to offer permanent refuge for some of the birds. (Source: WALB)
Smiley said that it will take a long time for the birds to trust her after what they've been through. (Source: WALB)
Smiley said that it will take a long time for the birds to trust her after what they've been through. (Source: WALB)

BROOKS CO., GA (WALB) - Nearly 60 roosters rescued from a cockfighting ring are getting fresh starts with new homes.

This comes after Brooks County deputies busted a cockfighting ring over the weekend.

Two people, Jose Martinez and Rhoda Yoder, are now charged with several counts of cruelty to animals.

Investigators said dozens of chickens and roosters were recovered during a search of their home on Peach Road in Quitman. They were then handed over to animal rescue and have been placed with new families.

Many members of the community stepped up to the plate when it came to rescuing the 60 roosters, hens and chicks.

Having been rescued on Easter from the cockfighting ring, all of the birds have been saved and placed into homes by volunteers.

Denise Smiley was one of the first to offer permanent refuge for some of the birds. She said she sits inside the cages with them for at least an hour a day to try to comfort and familiarize them with her.

Smiley said that it will take a long time for the birds to trust her after what they've been through.

"It takes a pretty sick person to strap razor blades to cock spurs and then throw two roosters at each other, over and over again until one is dead and to find enjoyment in that, to me, is a sick person," said Smiley.

Smiley expects the recovery process of trust to take weeks, maybe even months.

In all, Smiley took in 15 birds and others took as many as 30.

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