I wanted to let the world know — yet again — that YES, fighting cocks CAN be rehabilitated, YES, they can live happily and peacefully with other chickens, and YES, VINE continues to be the only established non-profit animal rights sanctuary who helps them recover from their ordeal.
Eight days ago, VINE took in 10 adult fighting cocks and four juveniles who were bred to be fighters from a bust that took place in New York a few months ago.
Here’s a link to the bust: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/family-run_cock-fighting_ring.
Eight days later, three of the fighters are free. That’s right. Free, as in wandering the many acres on the hill, mixing and mingling with the 50 other roosters who live up there, having a great time. The juveniles were free from day one, and are having a great time also. We anticipate the rest will be rehabbed within a few weeks.
It’s just that easy. I hesitate to go into more detail about the whole drama of fighting roosters because I have a hard time remaining rational when I do so. They live in the hands of those who are more powerful than they are, from the time they are born until the time they are killed (either by another rooster or by a human being). Sometimes — rarely — they are lucky enough to be rescued from their fates — but guess what? Most of the time, their rescuers kill them too, because no one will take a chance on these birds. The tiniest slimmest percentage of the time, their story ends with us (or with another very special place I’m hoping to talk more about one day).
We are thrilled that for now — right this very minute — ten former fighters and four potential fighters are sleeping peacefully in their coop. Tomorrow will be another chance for the seven who are still having trouble to come out, get close to some of the other birds, and continue to learn that they don’t have to fight to stay alive. The minute they get scared and fight, we will be there to take them back to safety where they can watch and learn that roosters really can get along with each other. Some day, that new lesson will override the one their previous masters taught them. They, too, will be free.
Please support the work that we do at VINE. We pick up where the rescuers leave off. Without our help, the roosters are usually killed as soon as a verdict is reached. With your help, we can continue to save these fighters for the rest of their lives — not just for a short while after they think they’ve been rescued.