Police: 1,300 animals found in 'deplorable' living conditions at alleged dogfighting, cockfighting site in Wisconsin

The animals are being taken to emergency shelters.
Publish date:

Authorities just across the Minnesota border in Wisconsin busted a dog and cockfighting ring that involved more than 1,300 animals. 

According to a joint press release from the Pierce County Sheriff's Office and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the bust was made during the execution of a search warrant at a property in Gilman Township, Wisconsin. 

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 1.15.50 PM

The conditions the 1,300-plus animals were living in were described as "deplorable," with some dogs tied to heavy chains and clearly scarred and injured from likely dogfighting.

It's believed that at least a dozen dogs were specifically bred for dogfighting.  

Roosters on the property were found with physical alterations, which the release says is commonly associated with cockfighting. 

Equipment typically used in dogfighting and cockfighting was recovered at the scene and is being examined by subject matter experts. 

All animals are being taken by ASPCA to emergency shelters for treatment. The courts will eventually determine custody of the animals. 

"This is the second large-scale animal cruelty case we have encountered in the past two years,” said Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove. “When we are made aware of any animal cruelty issues, we do the best we can to investigate and hold those responsible accountable for the suffering they’ve caused these animals."

Follow Bring Me The News on Instagram

Animal fighting is considered a felony in Wisconsin. First time offenders can face up to 3-and-a-half years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. 

“Animal fighting is an inhumane practice that is unfortunately common throughout the country,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position where we can provide resources and expertise to assist local authorities with their investigation.”

The identity of the person or persons accused organizing the animal fights has not been released.

Next Up


Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Shelter-in-place in Albert Lea after police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.


St. Paul officer shoots man who got out of dumpster, ran towards police

A report says the man was naked and had a steak knife.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 6.58.11 PM

Gophers dominate second half to defeat Loyola-Marymount

Marcus Carr scored 26 to send the Gophers to 2-0.


Animal rescue owner charged after 64 cats found dead at home

The 25-year-old is facing 13 counts of animal mistreatment.

Sheriff: Man stalked woman, stole dog and left it in the cold

It happened in Fosston in northwest Minnesota.

Woman believes renter beat her dog to death, fundraiser says

The woman alleges that her roommate beat her dog.

Ritzie pitbull

Rescued pitbull suspected of being used in dog fighting ring

The dog is on the road to recovery thanks to a nearby animal shelter.

Box of puppies abandoned in freezing cold in Cloquet

It was 14 degrees outside when the puppies were found.

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 11.20.19 PM

Malnourished dog gains 20 pounds in 10 days; arrest made

Gabriel is doing much better since being found Nov. 1.