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19 Arrested In Canary-Fighting Investigation
100 Birds Seized In Shelton, Police Say
Police said 150 birds were seized in a canary-fighting investigation in Shelton, Connecticut on Sunday.
Police said canaries and saffron finches were seized and 19 people were arrested at a Ripton Road address.
“There was 100 canaries fighting, and they were betting on them 'til they were dead. It’s absolutely shocking,” said neighbor Marion Sega.
Police said they served a search warrant at the home after receiving a tip that an illegal bird fight involving 150 canaries and finches was scheduled to take place on Sunday.
Canaries are popular beginner pet birds and saffron finches, another small species of bird, can be spiteful and intimidating.
Police said 150 canaries and finches, their cages and $8,000 in cash was seized from the Ripton Road home.
Shelton police said the homeowner and 18 others found near or in the home’s garage were arrested on animal cruelty and illegal gambling charges. They said some of the suspects only speak Portuguese.
“I feel so bad, especially with two young boys and to have that going on in that house,” Sega said. “The house is so beautiful, the people seem so nice and a quiet neighborhood, couldn’t believe what I heard.”
Authorities raided a home in Harwinton earlier in the month, confiscating dozens of roosters. Investigators in Shelton said canary and finch fighting may be a new trend about which they are just learning.
“When canaries are bred, they’ll fight to the death and they don’t make the noise that typical roosters make and they don’t smell,” said Sgt. Robert Kozlowski. “They fall under the radar because we wouldn’t think it suspicious if people have a lot of canaries.”
Shelton police said the birds were discovered while executing a search warrant with the help of state police, state animal control, the Department of Agriculture and Fairfield police.
Police said the investigation may spread into other states as well.
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