More than a dozen roosters have been stolen from a local animal shelter, and authorities suspect they were snatched by people running a cockfighting operation.

Police Lt. Brad Wahl says 45 roosters were removed from a home on Thursday. Shortly before 4 a.m. Friday, two men were stopped near the Bakersfield Animal Shelter by California Highway Patrol Officers.

Wahl said the men were carrying burlap sacks containing feathers and that cockfighting videos were found in their car. The vehicle was impounded but the men were released.

Animal control officers were called and found that 13 of the impounded roosters were missing from the shelter's unlocked cages.

Denise Haynes of Kern County Animal Control says she suspects the men with the bags took them and were returning for more roosters when they were stopped.

The thefts remain under investigation.