A town of Holland man is facing charges after investigators break up what appeared to be a cockfighting ring.
Nhia Vang, 54, is charged with instigating fights between animals as well as training and keeping animals for fighting.
Investigators found out about the operation through an anonymous letter.
Vang and another man involved told investigators they were raising roosters as a hobby and the roosters first belonged to one of their fathers, who recently passed away.
After a closer look, investigators found a cockfighting pen on the property along with more than 40 roosters.
Investigators said the condition of the roosters led them to believe Vang was using and raising the roosters to fight for money.
“A few of the roosters that we saw had a majority of their breast feathers missing (and feathers missing) on top of their shoulders,” said Sgt. Mark Yehle of the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department. “One thing that we really noted were that on a couple of roosters the spurs on their feet were duct taped over, and my understanding is the reason for that is if they're with other roosters they're aggressive and they'll attack each other.”
Yehle also said blood and feathers were found sprayed on and around the pen.
Raising roosters for fighting is not very common in the La Crosse area. Yehle said this is the first case they've seen in his more than 20 years with the department.
He said the investigation is still ongoing and hopes the public can help.
“We'll probably have some follow-up interviews,” said Yehle. “We're hoping that if the public hears about it, that maybe someone else will come forward with more information. “It seems pretty clear that there's probably more individuals involved outside of the two that have been identified so far.”
The roosters are being cared for in an undisclosed location
Vang was released on a $1,000 signature bond.
His next court appearance will be on March 26.
If you have any information on the case you are asked to contact the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department 608-785-9629.