Dogfighting bust in Telfair County yields four arrests

Four men have been charged with dogfighting in Telfair County after a sheriff’s deputy happened on an active fight.

Deputy Michael Brewer was on patrol Sunday afternoon when he heard the sound of dogs fighting, according to a statement from the Telfair County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy investigated and saw four people participating in a dogfight.

The four ran off, but Sheriff Chris Steverson and other officers, including those from the McRae and Helena police departments, soon caught them.

Those arrested were Mitchell Brown, Kenny Kinsley, James McCormick and Caleb McRae, according to the release. All four were charged with dogfighting and taken to the Telfair County jail.

Evidence at the scene showed that the dogs were being kept and trained for dogfighting.

“A dogfighting pit was found on the property and as evidenced by the large amount of blood spattering on the walls, seemed to be well used,” Steverson said in the release. “This whole property is geared to train dogs to fight -- complete with veterinarian supplies, exercising equipment and large, heavy chains used to tightly secure the animals around their necks.”

Investigators found 12 dogs chained to trees in the woods behind the trailer. They were malnourished, and their faces were swollen and scarred from fights.

A veterinarian will examine the dogs to determine their level of health as well as their suitability to be paired with new caregivers.

The first offense for dogfighting is a felony that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The second offense carries up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Anyone with a tip about dogfighting can call 877-215-2250. Tips that lead to an arrest may be eligible for a $5,000 reward.