Corcoran prison employee arrested on dog fighting charges
KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Investigators in Kings County have busted a large dog fighting ring. Wednesday, they confiscated 12 Pit Bull Terriers at a home on Omaha Avenue in Corcoran. Thursday morning, they arrested 54-year-old Corcoran prison employee Meschelle Lindsey.
Kings County Animal Services first contacted Lindsey two years ago ... over concerns he did not have adequate shelter for two Pit Bulls he owned at the time. But after a tip came in just this week ... animal services visited Lindsey again and found some incriminating evidence.
Kings County investigators say the 12 Pit Bull Terriers they are nursing back to health are the same animals shown fighting in a confiscated picture ... one of many pieces of evidence detectives found at this Corcoran home.
Kings county sheriff Chris Jordan said, "The suspect had an unusual amount of veterinary type medical supplies for helping to heal injured animals. He also had materials, books that dealt with dog fighting."
The suspect, Meschelle Lindsey was taken into custody Thursday at Corcoran State Prison, where he works as a medical staffer. News of his arrest has outraged animal lovers ... including neighbors who say they had no idea what was going on next door.
Rosalia Saldana said, "What if the dogs get loose and my kids are out here. They can attack. Those dogs are very violent if they're not taken care of."
The 12 dogs are being cared for at Kings County Animal Services. But, one group likely to step in is Fresno based Bully Rescue. The non-profit organization takes care of Pit Bulls that have been abandoned or abused. Kings County detectives have already contacted them asking for help.
Becky Holly said, "They want us to go down and assess the dogs to see if they could be a member of a family one day. That's what you really need to do when you get into a dog fighting situation."
For now, rescuers say, although the dogs are scarred and hungry ... they all seem to be social and in good health. Still, experts advice, reversing what they've already been taught ... will take some time.
"It's all about the owner behind the dog. They're a powerful breed, but they're also loving and loyal and that's how they're able to be manipulated," adds Holly.
Bully Rescue employees say if they have room, they will likely transport some of the dogs to their Fresno headquarters.
As for Lindsey ... he faces felony charges. And investigators believe there may be more people involved. If you have any information, contact the Kings County Sheriff's Office.
crimetracker, kings county, corcoran, hanford, local, shannon handy
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