As I reported last year, Humberto Rodriguez was arrested in Manhattan and charged with animal cruelty for biting the head off his pet rooster, even though Rodriguez explained that he was only retaliating for the rooster’s unprovoked attack on his pet pigeon. A neighbor spotted the victim’s headless torso on the fire escape outside Rodriguez’s apartment and called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Allegedly, Rodriguez admitted the deed to ASPCA police, although his story was a little inconsistent. He was quoted as saying, "I killed the rooster. I bit the head off. I bit the rooster’s neck. He died, and then I cut its head off with a knife." Well, all the important details are consistent, I suppose. What the report did not explain is who the "ASPCA police" are — so far as I can tell, this is not an independent police force run by the ASPCA, but a program where actual police officers can get a certification in New York humane law, and then be deployed to protect roosters, etc. (Those of you who watch "Animal Precinct" apparently will already know this.)
Rodriguez faced up to a year in jail for the rooster murder, but agreed on Monday to a plea deal that would spare him jail time if he is not arrested during the next six months. I assume that means an arrest on any charge, not just duplicating his prior offense and thus becoming a serial bird killer. According to the ASPCA, it is illegal even to possess a live rooster in the city (have they ever been to Chinatown?), but if you do have one you certainly can’t kill it.
The rooster’s head was never found.
Link: CBS News