Oklahoma County Couple Arrested for Alleged Cockfighting

A husband and wife are facing nearly 60 charges for their alleged roles in cockfighting, according to Oklahoma City Police. Ellie Grino, the husband, was arrested for driving under the influence. During the arrest, an officer noticed fighting spurs as well as wooden transport boxes for roosters inside Grino’s car.

The officer believed that Grino used the items for cockfighting. When asked, Grino allegedly confirmed that he used them for rooster fights.

The McLoud Police Department contacted the Oklahoma City Police Department for assistance to check if there was any cockfighting activity at Grino’s home in OKC.

Authorities visited Grino’s home and spoke to Grino’s wife, Jannine Yee. According to the police report, officers observed a large number of roosters tied to stakes in the backyard. This prompted the officers to alert Animal Welfare. A search warrant was later served and the roosters were taken off the property.

“We were able to obtain a warrant for the property in question. There was, in fact, evidence of cockfighting,” said Jon Gary, superintendent of OKC Animal Welfare. According to him, 93 birds were impounded. “There were just a handful that had very, very minor needs for the veterinary staff. I think there were three,” he added.

In addition to the birds, cockfighting paraphernalia were also found at the residence. “Things like knives and gaffs,” said Gary. “The evidence on the birds themselves, they were trimmed similar to how birds that are used for cockfighting are trimmed.”

Police officials say that combined, the couple is facing nearly 60 counts related to cockfighting. Included in those charges are the possession of birds with the intent to engage in a cock fight, cruelty to animals, and keeping a place equipment or facility to be used in permitting cockfighting.

Cockfighting was made illegal in Oklahoma 21 years ago, however, according to Animal Wellness Action, it remains to be a problem. “It’s been a few years since we had a case, but it seems like we have a case that pops up every few years or so, and so we take cockfighting very seriously, any animal fighting for that matter very seriously,” Gary said.