OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — A husband and a wife are facing nearly 60 counts for cockfighting and keeping equipment for cockfighting, according to Oklahoma City police.
Police arrested Ellie Grino in McCloud on April 9 for a DUI. McCloud police conducted the arrest and saw that Grino had fighting spurs and wooden transport boxes for roosters in his vehicle. The officer believed Grino was using them for cockfighting. When asked about them, Grino allegedly confirmed he used them for chicken and rooster fights.
According to the police report, the McCloud Police Department called the Oklahoma City Police Department for assistance to check if there was cockfighting going on at Grino's home in OKC.
The police report shows that OKCPD went to Grino's residence in the 20000 block of Florence Ave. Police spoke to Grino's wife, Jannine Yee, who was home with their three children. According to the police report, officers observed a "large number" of roosters in the backyard of the property, tied to stakes.
Officers called Animal Welfare to aid in the investigation. A search warrant was later served and the roosters were taken off the property.
John Gary with OKC Animal Welfare said 93 birds were impounded, and fortunately, none of the birds were seriously wounded when taken in.
"There were just a handful that had very, very minor needs for the veterinary staff," Gary said. "I think there was three."
Animal Wellness Action says they applaud Oklahoma County law enforcement and District Attorney Vicki Behenna for arresting and charging Grino and Yee for their cockfighting crime.
“Arresting cockfighters for possession of fighting animals is a long overdue avenue for enforcement of Oklahoma law," said Animal Wellness Action President, Wayne Pacelle. "There’s no mistaking why some people have these specially bred, housed, and trained fighting animals.”
Cockfighting was made illegal in the state 21 years ago, and Animal Wellness Action says it is a continuing 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.
Both Grino and Yee are facing upwards of 59 counts in relation to cockfighting. Some of the charges include Possession of Birds with the Intent to Engage in a Cock Fight and Cruelty to Animals.
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