Police uncovered an alleged cockfighting operation at a Hamilton Township home Friday.

Nancy Beall, president of the Atlantic County Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the Smith Avenue property a "horror house" full of decaying roosters, gutted rabbits and malnourished goats. Her organization is helping to rehabilitate some of the animals.

But other animals couldn't be saved - including more than 40 roosters that had to be euthanized

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"When roosters are individually caged, they come at you, they fight you," Beall said. "To fill up a freezer with dead birds ... it's sad."

Beall said neighbors had been complaining about the property for a couple of years - but nobody acted on those complaints until noon Friday, when police visited the scene to investigate a disturbance.

According to a police department press release, officers found a cockfighting ring in the home's basement, as well as a dead rooster carcass with detachable talons.

Police, who are still investigating, said they found numerous rooster and animal carcasses deteriorating throughout the wooded property toward the end of a rural, dead end street off Malaga Road.

Tri-State Animal Emergency Center in Woolwich Township, Gloucester County also assisted in the relocation process, police said.

Contact Dan Good:

609-272-7203

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