Cock fighters hired by the city to handle to rooster complaints - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Cock fighters hired by the city to handle to rooster complaints

Eric Sakach Eric Sakach

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Depending on your perspective crowing roosters are either a nuisance or part of a cultural tradition, regardless changes appear to be coming on the subject.

"In six years I've never slept in," said Cathleen Matsushima, Kalihi resident, who has complained to everyone who'd listen about her neighbors roosters.  "The chickens are still crowing."

The Humane Society of the United States has been complaining too.  Not as much about the noise but the fact that the people contracted by the city being paid $60,000 a year to investigate crowing rooster complaints are in fact cock fighters themselves.

"It's the same thing as hiring dogfighters to run an animal shelter or handle loose dog complaints. It's just that outrageous," said Eric Sakach, The Humane Society of the United States, Senior Law Enforcement Specialist. 

Sakach is an undercover investigator and been trying to stop cockfighting for 34 years. In that time he's attended over 100 cockfights.

"Cock fighters on the face shouldn't be considered period for this kind of a contract. It's analogous to asking a pedophile to oversee a child daycare center. It's that ludicrous," said Sakach. "There are just enormous red flags here and it smacks of such obvious impropriety to be contracting with people involved in the abuse of animals to be mitigating animal problems."

They say the previous administration essentially turned a deaf ear but now with the Carlisle administration their voice is starting to be heard on the subject.

Pat Royos with Royos Farming says she was told to hold off on submitting a renewal bid for the contract.  Instead it appears the city may go in another direction.

"We've since been assured that they are looking into the allegations we've provided them with and the evidence we've provided them with and we'll be providing them with more," said Sakach. "There's no reason that publicly proclaimed cock fighters should be carrying on this kind of contract with the city."

Pat Royos says they only took the contract because the Humane Society and Honolulu Police Department didn't want the extra work.  She denies allegations they use the roosters they confiscate for cockfighting mainly because they aren't the right bloodline.

As for the rooster crowing contract it expires January 31, 2012.  Who will take it over remains to be seen but the Humane Society doesn't want anyone associated with cockfighting.

"The city currently has no evidence linking the crowing roosters and feral chickens captured under the contract with the actual cockfighting. However, the city takes allegations of illegal activity seriously and is now reviewing the terms of the next contract to increase accountability regarding crowing roosters and feral chickens which are caught.  All qualified bidders will be considered," said Louise Kim McCoy, Mayor Carlisle's Press Secretary, in a written response.

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