Authorities uncovered a cockfighting pen and supplies used to treat injured birds in the town of Holland in what could be the county’s first prosecuted animal fighting case.

An anonymous tip led La Crosse County sheriff’s investigators to W7109 Evans Valley Road on Wednesday where they found roosters locked inside wire cages and a room in a metal pole barn used for cockfights, according to a report.

Blood and feathers were stuck to a wall. In a cabinet, they found pain medication, powder, tape and needles used to sew wounds.

Property owned Nhia Vang, 54, declined to speak to investigators without an attorney. He is a multicultural services liaison at Western Technical College helping minority students on campus.

Vang faces charges of instigating fights between animals and training and keeping animals for fighting. He appears March 26 in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

More arrests are possible as the investigation continues. On Tuesday, investigators and animal control officers took injured roosters, a goat and a dog from a town of Onalaska property.

All told, authorities seized 43 birds from the two properties, said Amiie Gabrilska, senior animal control officer. They are housed in a confidential location.

“We’re trying to get them less stressed and settled,” she said.

One of the injured birds in the town of Onalaska had worn feathers on his neck, open sores and duct tape on its spurs, according to reports. Other birds also had sores.

A pit bull mix on the property was kept in an outdoor area covered in feces. The water in its dish was frozen.

Two men who live on the property denied raising the roosters to fight, claiming initially they slaughtered them for food, according to reports. One later said his dad raised the roosters to relieve stress and that he keeps them as pets.

Cockfighting is not a tradition in the Hmong culture, said Koua Vang, the executive director of the United Asian of Wisconsin organization. Though cockfighting is socially acceptable, wagering on the fights is illegal.

In La Crosse County, the sheriff’s department has investigated a couple of other cockfighting cases, though this is believed to the first that resulted in criminal charges, Capt. Kurt Papenfuss said.

Cockfighting is illegal in all states and a felony in 39, including Wisconsin, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Watching a fight is a misdemeanor offense.

In some cases, fights can last more than 30 minutes and can result in the death of one or both birds, the humane society states. Birds that escape death often suffer punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes.

Gambling is standard among spectators, and cockfights have also been linked to drug trafficking and homicide, the humane society reports.

(17) comments


where's my comment too bad white people run the show around here because they can cover their s***. yeah go ahead take this one off too you know I'm right when I said you do it too


This is not something that is only in the hmong community. This has been around for hundreds of years. World wide, white, black (Roy Jones Jr) and Mexican. everybody has done something wrong befor and learn from it. I'm sure Nhia Vang learned from this. And come on when Michael Vick got caught for dogfighting nobody said it was in the black community only.


Ntuj aw uas cas kuv yuav pab tu siab ua liaj li no, ua cas yuav rau tau rau peb ib tug zoo thauj coj. Kuv tsiv los no rau hauv no tau 20 xyoo kuv twb tsis tau pom Nhia Vang tuaj muab lub dag lub zog pub pab peb xeem haus hwm thiab tsis pom muaj kev koom tes rau peb tsoom hmoob li. Nhia tsis muaj kev cog phooj rau peb cov hmoob li. Kuv xav tias Nhia yog ib tug neeg paub txoj cai teb chaws no zoo yeev tsis ntxim Nhia yuav ua tua tej yam zoo li no. Nhia koj yuav tau rau peb tsev neeg hmoob poob lub meej mom tsis zoo thia ua rau peb tej ma tub ma nyiaj poob thiab puas lub koob tag li. Tsis pom tias zaum tas los no cov me nyiam hmoob vwj tua tub ntxahis amlikas ntawm xwb peb tau npe tsis zoo ua lis cas tseem yuav muaj tej zoo li no tshwm sim ntxiv thiab THOV KOM PEB HMOOB TXHOB UA TEJ KEV TXHAUM CAI NO NTXIV LAWM THOV TIAG TIAG NAWB HMOOB.


For those of you people out there who not know much about chicken. Chicken fight each other no matter what. They fight until one give up or die. For sure every farmer who raise chicken know what I'm talking about. Chicken fight is not cruelty if no knife attached to their feet. They box just like human. If you think chicken fight themselves is cruelty, look at the UFC. People give money to other people and train them how to fight, that's cruelty!!. And if you think everyone who raise this kind of chickens are all cruelty and you want the animal control to take them all away, you better think twice. These kind of chicken have special beauty and different way of looking. If you go to some place where they show chicken, these are the best looking chicken. In Nhia's case, I don't think he is dangerou to the Human society by raising these kind of chicken. The drunk driving people that kill the good people should be in jill all and not Nhia.

cowboy hooli

super villian... I am not a tree-hugging, peta loving, sensitive kind ofman that hunts vegtables. Better yet, I give a rats tail if someone eats cats or dogs if that is their gig. However I subscribe to the theory that there are lines in this life that should not be crossed.Anyone that willingly brings cruelity; harm out of malice or sport to our children, ederly, anyone because of a disease or disablility or animals should be rejected by society. I deer hunt but I do not torture it. I will track it down to make sure it does not suffer as every hunter does. I will bet my milwaukee saws-all that these idiots do not eat the chickens that die during the cockfighting process. Your not stupid s.p., do not attempt to confuse the two.


First of all, cowboy hooli, you’re lame as they come. Human eat animal daily. It is the cycle of life to eat and butcher animals for food! There is no such thing as stop harming the animals! Secondly, cruelty to the chicken? There are companies that butchered millions of chicken per month! Chickens are food and some people just like to play with their food before eating them. If you people on here think wronging chicken is cruel then stop eating chicken! There are more important matters to worry about than this. For example, the drunks driving at night or the parents who rather smoke and drink instead of feeding their kids. Seriously, there are a lot of sad child in la crosse area but we don’t care about so why worry about this? If you wanted to talk about cruelty, you people are the cruel ones. Why do you value the lives of chicken over a human being? I say eat the chicken since we killed million to billions of chicken already, so why act like we’re all innocent people.


There is a big difference between watching two animals fighting to the death and humanely putting animals down for food. If Golden Plump had a Gladiator battle where the strongest chicken wins she earns her freedom and the dead ones become our dinner, well I just would have to remove chicken from my diet. My problem is with how disgusting do you have to be to watch anything fight to the death? I don't know how it could be remotely entertaining?


May God bless all you sinners on here.


I wouldn't think twice of turning someone into the police if I witnessed someone abusing an animal and if calling the police didn't stop it, I would have no problems stealing the animal and rehoming it myself. It takes a real sick sociopathic mind to get joy from animal fighting or mistreating animals and there is a special place in hell for those people.


He should have the chickens fight him.


This is not part of our hmong culture and hmong tradion. We never knew there is such discussing human in our Community. This is very disgrace for our hmong Community.
I hope this is a very good lesson for all the Hmong people in the La Crosse area. Peb Hmoob nej tuaj nyob luag teb luag chaw es ua lis cas tsis yoog luag txuj ma. Ua li cas yuav ua tau rhuav phu ua luaj li nas Hmoob thiab ua li cas tseem yog Hmoob Vaj thiab Yog Vang Pao tseem muaj txoj sia nyob yov Vang Pao yuav ua li cas txaj muag nrog nej lau. Twb zoo nws ncaim lub ntiaj teb no lawm yog.


Shame on you Nhia Vang. All your success and you blow it with this unnecessary cruelty. You've been here a long time and know the law. What they do in Laos is no darn excuse. I hope you are punished for this and not just a slap on the hand.


NOW is the time for the judges to put the hammer down to these discussing people. Cruelty to animals has gone on far to long in this community with everyone, especially the judges, turning a blind eye and handing out a fine and slap on the wrist. Set an example out of these people and say, animal cruelty will not be tolerated! WTC should fire this loser too. What a disgrace. This story makes me sick and so mad. He should be lucky that the police found out first before upset community members....don't like the laws of this country...well it's called freedom and I would gladly help you pack.


Not a tradition? ha right! It's normalcy in the Hmong community. Maybe not accepted by everyone in the community but it's definitely NOT something out of the ordinary. (I know from experience)

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

You are right. To bad they weren't aware that around here, dogfighting is the normalcy.


No maybe about it, that wasn't fair, it's absolutely NOT accepted by everyone in the community. However, there are plenty that know about it and turn the other cheek both with Dogs and Roosters.

cowboy hooli

Put the punk in a cage with hooli and he will and never hurt another animal again!!!

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