By Shereen Siewert

Police in September arrested one man and seized about 30 rare roosters from a Rib Mountain property, part of a suspected cockfighting operation, according to court documents.

Pai Chang, 33, of Wausau, is facing charges filed Oct. 26 in Marathon County Circuit Court of possessing an animal with the intent to instigate animal fights, a felony. He is free on a $500 signature bond.

Police responded Sept. 22 to a home on Hwy. N in Rib Mountain after a report from a citizen concerned about the welfare of animals at the property and found multiple birds without food or water. Two days later, officers returned with a search warrant and a veterinarian to examine the birds.

The veterinarian became suspicious after finding an unusual number of roosters with their spurs taped, along with local anesthetic, liquid band-aids and other items including herbs associated with cock fighting, according to court documents. During the search, police also found a “champion box,” which is described in court documents as a luggage bag with holes cut on the side typically used to transport fighting roosters to the ring.

Police seized 28 roosters from the property, several of which had their waddles cut off, were missing toenails or toes, or had their feet taped, court documents state.

Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states.

Chang is due in court Dec. 10 for a preliminary hearing in the case.