Galveston Police Sgt. Joel Caldwell has won an award from the Humane Society of the United States for his role in organizing a December raid of a facility that had 350 roosters raised for cockfighting.
Caldwell was the first officer in Texas to make an arrest under a 2011 law banning the raising of birds for fighting, according to the HSUS. He's one of seven law enforcement officers nationwide to win the Humane Law Enforcement Award.
In the raid of a Santa Fe property owned by 66-year-old Jimmy Lee Bradshaw, police found "about 300 birds tethered to the ground and in cages," according to the Galveston Daily News. They also found "fighting knives and what they allege is a fighting pit inside a garage with rotting rafters."
Bradshaw reportedly told officers he raised and sold the roosters for breeding chickens. He advertised the birds in a a cockfighting magazine called, appropriately, The Gamecock, for $100-$600 each.
When Bradshaw was asked what he thought of cockfighting, according to the story, he said it was just "mistreating your supper."
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Wayne Pacelle, HSUS's president and CEO, stated in a press release that "The 2012 Humane Law Enforcement Award recipients exemplify the best of law enforcement in protecting animals from needless violence and harm, and we are privileged to honor them."
According to the HSUS, "Caldwell also helped to create a bigger animal services department for the county and brought together city, county, and state animal protection officials for a forum to discuss improving animal welfare in the community."
Caldwell has earned a Medal of Valor and two Officer of the Year awards, among others, from the Galveston Police Department.
In other words, Caldwell's The Man. This recognition is well-deserved, and we're proud to have officers like Caldwell out there.