MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An Anoka County couple faces criminal charges related to animal cruelty after a cockfighting operation was found on their property in Ramsey.

Authorities first went to the home of Jeff Tong Khue Yang and Tina Mylisa Xiong because of a noise complaint regarding a rooster last June.

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Looking through an archway in a fence, law enforcement observed numerous animal cages with several roosters and chickens running around.

“The animals were missing feathers, had open wounds, and were skinny,” according to the criminal complaint. “The housing was also inadequate for the weather.”

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Authorities say subsequent trips to the property revealed that the animals had inadequate food, and “fresh injuries to their throat areas consistent with cockfighting.”

When police executed a search warrant at the house on July 1, they found bags of bird feathers, steroids and antibiotics, and DVDs of cockfights.

Agents from the animal humane society subsequently removed 61 birds from the property. Reports show that 47 of them were underweight, and four of them died days later. All of the animals had mites and external parasites.

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Yang and Xiong made their first appearances in Anoka County court on Friday. They’ve since been released — their next court date is scheduled for March.