Owen County couple facing charges after 60 birds rescued from residence

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OWEN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Sixty birds in Owen County are recovering in an undisclosed location after being rescued from a residence, which according to court documents, played host to chicken fights.

On May 28 detectives with the Owen County Sheriff’s Department received a tip regarding animal abuse at the home of Jeffrey Pierce.

Authorities were told Pierce had several metal cages containing roosters and some chickens which were used for fighting.

After receiving a warrant to search the residence, authorities arrived on June 20 to find drugs and paraphernalia among the mistreatment of the birds.

According to court documents, no food or water was accessible for any of the seven chicks, six roosters and 47 chicks.

Pierce and his girlfriend Kristen Hammond were both arrested at the residence and have since posted bond.

The animals were seized by the Owen County Humane Society and are recovering.

“Health wise they’re actually in pretty good shape.We’re using shavings, medications. We’ve had a vet visit,” said humane society Board President Becky Brown. “They’ve been checked for the poultry virus to make sure that they would be healthy enough to go into other flocks.”

The humane society is currently waiting for the Owen County Court to relinquish ownership of the birds.

Pierce has until Monday, July 1 to post an animal care bond.

If he doesn’t post bond, court authority will give the humane society permission to decide where the birds go.

Hammond and Pierce are both facing a Level 6 Felony for possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.

Pierce is facing a second Level 6 Felony charge for purchase or possession of animals for a fighting contest.

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