Nearly 600 birds, dogs rescued from Indiana property

MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. (WXIN/CNN) - Authorities investigating a Crime Stoppers tip about dog and cock fighting discovered hundreds of birds and dogs at a farm in Owen County, Ind.
Martin Anderson is facing charges in connection with an animal fighting investigation.

Martin Anderson faces one count of purchasing an animal to be used in an animal fighting contest. Neighbors said he was known to take in strays. (Source: WXIN/CNN VAN)

Neighbors said Anderson was known to take in stray dogs.

“The tip said we would find roosters here that were involved or being raised or prepared to fight,” said Rob Townsend, Indiana Gaming Commission Superintendent for Law Enforcement. “And we have found roosters here. That’s true.”

“We don’t have anything at this point that leads us to believe that there is fighting going on here,” Townsend said. “Basically, we have the tip that they’re being raised for the purpose of fighting and that’s why we acted on.”

Nine pit bulls were found on the Owen County farm.

It’s a haul that would overwhelm the resources of the gaming commission or any local animal shelter.

That’s why the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals came in to take care of the seized birds and dogs.

“It’s definitely difficult conditions for the birds,” said Jessica Rushan, of the ASPCA. “We’re providing food and water, they all live outdoors so we’ll make sure they are provided with a comfortable place to sleep indoors out of the elements but it’s definitely a muddy mess back there today and pretty wet.”

The ASPCA will transport the animals to an undisclosed location for veterinary care and safekeeping.

As for Anderson, he faces one count of purchasing an animal to be used in an animal fighting contest.

That felony is punishable by up to two and a half years in prison.

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