A Silver Spring man was charged with 22 counts of aggravated animal cruelty after police seized 100 chickens from his property on Bell Road in Burtonsville. Police said there were signs that it was related to cockfighting.
Raymond Romig, 59, of Clement Space in Silver Spring, was charged on Nov. 26, according to a press release from the police department.
If Romig is found guilty, he could face imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
The Animal Services Division of the Montgomery County Police Department noted potential abuse at the Burtonsville property on a routine pet licensing call on Nov. 18, according to the press release.
An officer noticed several individually penned roosters on the property, which is often how cockfighting roosters are kept.
Many roosters had their combs and wattles removed, a common practice in cockfighting to prevent bleeding that could impair the birds while fighting, according to the release.
The division executed a search and seizure warrant on Nov. 21. It covered three properties owned by Romig, resulting in the removal of 100 roosters and hens.
Officers also seized “physical evidence related to the conduct, training and implements of cockfighting,” according to the release.
The chickens were evaluated at the site by the division’s chief veterinarian and are being cared for by the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center.
A spokesman for the Animal Services Division was not immediately available for further comment on Monday afternoon.