Nineteen people have been arrested in western Wisconsin after police raided a suspected cockfighting ring over the weekend.
Officers from the St. Croix County Sheriff's office busted a makeshift shelter in rural Glenwood City – about 40 miles east of Stillwater – at 1.15 p.m Saturday acting on a tip, the Pioneer Press reports.
Police heard "loud chicken noises" as they approached the shelter, before a large number of those gathered around it fled when they saw deputies approaching. Officers then found a cockfighting ring and evidence that a cockfight had been taking place.
The owner of the dairy farm, veterinarian Dr. Marvin Johnson, is said to have had no idea that such activity was taking place on his land, according to FOX 9, and has been working to assist police in their investigation.
The Sheriff's office said Dr. Johnson helped police find safe places for the roosters to stay, and ordered his employees to cooperate with police enquiries.
The Star Tribune reports several law enforcement agencies were on involved in the raid, and the 19 people arrested were jailed, released on bail, and now await charges.
Last July, police discovered 61 roosters at what was thought to be a breeding farm for cockfighting in Rock County, Wisconsin, the Pioneer Press notes, while in January last year Minneapolis officers busted a ring in the northern part of the city, according to WCCO.