Just sparring, your honor

Juan & Bruno Gonzales: It's Not Cockfighting, It's "Sparring"

Note to D-bags who get caught cockfighting: telling the judge your blood-covered chickens were just "sparring" is not a slam-dunk defense.

That's what Angelina County father and son Juan and Bruno Gonzales found out Wednesday when State District Judge Paul White found them guilty of cruelty to livestock animals, according to the Lufkin Daily News.

Proving once and for all that assholishness is hereditary, the duo were arrested last month after an Angelina County Sheriff's Office animal control officer "seized two dead chickens that had been placed in feed sacks, and two injured chickens from the [Gonzales's] home," according to the story.

Officer Melanie Wade also found "two small cases full of equipment used for cockfighting, including vitamins, short knives, and thread."

The men's defense? They claimed that the chickens were only sparring as a way of entertaining friends during a cookout. It was just good old-fashioned fun -- the birds even wore "sparring gloves on their spurs" so they wouldn't get hurt.

"We wanted to show people how athletic" the chickens were, Bruno Gonzales testified, explaining that he only allowed the fowl to "go at each other" one time before they were called to their corners.

Employing the evergreen "the chickens did it themselves" defense, Gonzales said the  chickens got hurt when they "escaped their pens and tried to fight two other birds through the wire coop."

Heather Ferguson, part of the New Mexico AG's animal cruelty task force (apparently Texas doesn't have its own one of those), called bullshit on the sparring story, testifying that "if they were sparring, you would see bruising to the body. You wouldn't have bloody, dead roosters."

But even if the birds were sparring, it still equaled animal cruelty, Judge White said in his ruling. The men will be sentenced in "approximately six weeks, after a pre-sentence investigation is conducted by a probation officer." The men were released on bond.

We're not sure why a PSI is needed, because we're not sure what mitigating factors there could possibly be for cockfighting. Maybe the probation officer just needs that time to interview the surviving chickens.

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