The Lee County Sheriff’s Office found an illegal cockfighting operation and arrested a woman connected to it.
Natacha Rodriguez, 47, of North Fort Myers, faces two felony counts of selling or possessing an animal to fight or bait. According to an arrest report, the deputies went to 140 E. Mariana Ave. in response to a call from Lee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Cruelty Task Force about a possible cockfighting operation.
The deputies observed chickens in two spots in the yard. One area in the northeast corner had two pens with eight and six chickens respectively. On the west side of the yard was a rooster with its comb and wattle removed, with injuries such as multiple scars on its head, and a disfigured face.
The marks and injuries of the rooster led deputies to believe the rooster was used in cockfighting.
The report also stated that a second rooster was housed individually and had its comb and wattle removed along with its natural spurs. It also had injuries to its wings, back, and chest. There were two other caged roosters that were missing their natural spurs, and three more roosters that were housed with hens. The three lacked combs, wattles, and natural spurs.
Deputies also found a digital scale and sling used to weigh birds before fights, as well as a case that contained multiple plastic artificial spurs that were attached to the legs of the rooster during fights.
A veterinarian on the scene agreed that many of the roosters found were used in fights.
Rodriguez was released on a 10,000 USD bond. Her next court date is on October 9.