Nearly 60 roosters, hens bred to fight seized from Citrus County property, deputies say

Courtesy: Citrus County Sheriff's Office

A Citrus County man is facing animal cruelty charges after investigators say he was illegally breeding roosters and hens for cock fights.  

According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, detectives found several A-frame-style structures at a Dunnellon property with roosters tethered underneath while investigating a suspicion of roosters being bred for fighting. 

While on-site, detectives say they made contact with Roberto Arevalo Miranda, 65, who told them he lived in a camper on the property near the small A-frame structures. 

Investigators say Miranda told them he worked for a friend who raises roosters to ship to the Philippines for fighting.

According to CCSO, Miranda stated that he has lived at the location for about eight months and began raising his own roosters to send to the Philippines for rooster fighting. He claimed to own nine roosters on the property, according to investigators. 

CCSO Animal Control seized 59 roosters and hens as well as two dogs that were on the property without adequate food, water, or shelter.

READ: Florida woman accused of drowning pet Chihuahua in swimming pool

CCSO is investigating to see if there are any other suspects related to the illegal breeding operation or if there is any connection to a previous case of cock fighting in Floral City. 

We will not tolerate this type of activity in Citrus County," said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. "Know that if you participate in any way in the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, we will arrest you and make sure you are held accountable for your actions."

Miranda has been charged with nine counts of animal breeding for the purpose of fighting and two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.  

Citrus County residents are asked to call 352-249-2790 to report suspected animal cruelty.