Dogs, chickens seized in Madison County, possibly connected to animal fighting

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MADISON COUNTY, Ind. — More than a dozen animals are seized from a property in Madison County. Authorities are investigating the possibility that the dogs and chickens may have been trained and used for animal fighting.

“It’s an extremely depressing thought to think human beings would allow this,” said Sheriff Scott Mellinger, with Madison County.

Authorities seized the 14 animals from a rundown property off South Rangeline Road. 

“A couple of the dogs seemed very friendly to us you could walk right up to them but as soon as they got beside another dog, they just immediately turned aggressive,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

Authorities found 8 pit bulls and 6 chickens and hens on the property. The dogs were chained to makeshift shelters. Sheriff Mellinger says evidence on scene and injuries on some of the animals are consistent with animal fighting.

“I think when they see something like we saw yesterday where you’ve got a 25-pound dog dragging around a 10-pound chain as it tries to walk 10 feet away from its shelter,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

All the dogs were malnourished.  There wasn’t any food, and the water was dirty.  Sheriff Mellinger assumes the animals were left, chained and alone for days at a time.

“They would probably give anything to be treated kindly and just be able to go for a walk or run,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

Right now, investigators are working to track down a person of interest.  They’re not releasing a name yet but tell FOX 59 this person has past complaints and citations for animal neglect.

“This is something we feel like is probably happening more often than we know and we’d love to get to the bottom of it,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

This investigation started with a tip.  Someone passing by the property heard dogs barking and crying to the extent that it sounded suspicious and called 911. Sheriff Mellinger credits that person for alerting authorities and possibly saving these animals.  

“We owe a lot to the person who reported this anonymously,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

The Indiana Gaming Commission is also involved in this investigation. All the animals are being housed at the Animal Protection League in Anderson.

Anyone with information about this case, call 765.646.9290.

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