By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Investigators say an animal fighting ring, operated out of a property right in the middle of a country road in rural Gilman Township, Wisconsin, was hidden in plain sight.

Authorities believe Houa Dia Yang was the mastermind behind it all.

animal cruelty mugs Couple Arrested For Drug Possession, Animal Fighting Operation

(credit: Pierce County Sheriff’s Office)

The U.S. Marshals Service were serving him an arrest warrant late last week when they stumbled upon drug paraphernalia, more than a dozen dogs and more than 1,000 chickens — all bred for fighting. Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said the ring was organized to a T.

“Eggs were labeled … they kept track of who laid what and what kind of breeds were coming out of them,” Hove said.

birds seized 3 Couple Arrested For Drug Possession, Animal Fighting Operation

(credit: Pierce County Sheriff’s Office)

On top of it all, detectives say they found the makings for a marijuana grow operation at the home.

Authorities also arrested Senyen Vang, who lived at the home as well.

birds seized 2 Couple Arrested For Drug Possession, Animal Fighting Operation

(credit: Pierce County Sheriff’s Office)

“We checked [her] stuff before she left to make sure she wasn’t taking any evidence. At that time, we found a safe in her [bag]. We took the safe, got a warrant to open it up, and in it there was 4 pounds of meth,” Hove said.

ASPCA members have been working to remove the animals safely from the home this past week. They will all be taken to emergency shelters to receive care and treatment.

As of Thursday night, both of the suspects in this case were behind bars.

Animal fighting is a felony in Wisconsin, and offenders can spend up to six years in prison if convicted.

Mary McGuire