Shelton (WTNH) - Nineteen people were arrested Sunday after police raided a homeand seized 150 canaries and finches in a suspected bird fightingring.
Police also seized $8,000 in cash inside the house on RiptonRoad.
The suspects, from as far away as Newark, New Jersey, and theBoston suburbs, face several charges including animal cruelty andillegal gambling.
Police heard about what was going on, got a search warrant, andmoved in.
"There was approximately 100 canaries," Sgt. Robert Kozlowsky,Shelton Police. "They were in cages in the middle of the garagewhere the fighting was allegedly taking place."
"There was cages, where the canaries would be stored. It wouldopen and the two canaries would go in a cage where fighting wouldoccur," Sgt. Kozlowsky said.
Police carried out cages and cages of Canaries and SaffronFinches.
"I was shocked because the neighborhood is quiet and the peopleseemed like really nice neighbors," Marion Segea said.
Police say they caught the group before the next fight was setto begin, but they believe it's been going on for some time.
Shelton and state authorities are looking into how the birds gotto the house, where they came from and how extensive this operationwas.
"How they could get 100 canaries in there and nobody know aboutit is beyond me," Segea said.
At Purr-fect Pets, on Route One in Milford, aggressive is thelast word they would use to describe these types of birds.
"I mean, dogs fighting is heard of but I've never heard ofcanaries fighting, I mean, I've heard of cock fights and stuff likethat," said Iris Bergeron of Purr-fect Pets.
Bergeron said they've never had a problem with multiple birds incages together; in fact, they're a social creature and needcompanionship. They cost about $120 and can live for about 15years. The males will sing to woo the females and help establishtheir territory.
In fact, that is the only time they show any kind of fightingbehavior when competing for mates. So Bergeron said that may havebeen how the bird-fighters were able to get them to hurt eachother.
"I don't know for sure but I would assume that if you had twomales in a cage with a female, they're gonna fight over thefemale," said Bergeron.
In animal fighting rings, the animals are abused and food iswithheld to make them more vicious. But we're told, the birds areso small, if you didn't feed them, they'd die quite quickly. Soit's not totally clear how this all worked.
The following list is of the people that were arrested:
- Elito Goulart, 47, of Bridgeport.
- Ricardo Almeida, 29, of Danbury.
- Sebastian Andrade, 37, of Danbury.
- Rogerio DeCarvalho, 35, of Danbury.
- Massilon DePaula, 32, of Danbury.
- Gilson Goncalves, 31, of Danbury.
- Agostinho Gondinh, 35, of Danbury.
- Nonato Raimundo, 51, Danbury.
- Getulio Serra, 62, of Danbury.
- Jurames Goulart, 42, of Shelton.
- Welson Sales, 38, of Framingham, MA.
- Welson Morais, 26, of Framingham, MA.
- Waldiney Almeida, 29, of Holbrook, MA.
- Auder Gontijo, 43, of Marlborough, MA.
- Celco Soares, 33, of Marlborough, MA.
- Geraldo Teixeira, 43, of Kearny, NJ.
- Lucas Dos Santos, 25, of Newark, NJ.
- Odeci Dos Santos, 43, of Newark, NJ.
- Marcos Teles, 36, of Newark, NJ.
None of the birds removed from the house appear to beinjured.
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