Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Linda L. Baker-Corsiglia, 53 Neglecting 200+ animals

Strathmore, CA

Tulare County

July 29, 2010  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
  child endangerment 204 animals, a horse, dogs, cats, ducks, parakeets, cockatiels, a chinchilla and a rooster including 36 cats, 1 chicken, 2 rabbits, 7 dogs found dead Alleged  

Sheriff's Report:  PC, 273(a) PC- Animal Cruelty, Child Endangerment
LOCATION: 21000 block of R124    DATE: 7-29-10 TIME:
CASE NUMBER: 10-09241          VICTIM: State of California     CITY: Strathmore

On 7-29-10 at approx. 1200 hours, Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Porterville Substation responded to the above location to assist Tulare County Animal Control officers with a possible animal cruelty/neglect investigation.

Tulare County Animal Control officers advised that they had been contacted by the Kern County Animal Control office and a referral was made to check the above location due to a subject adopting numerous animals from Kern County, and reportedly operating an animal rescue center.

Upon arrival Animal Control officers and TCSO deputies observed a horse on the property with no food or water and numerous deceased animals in various stages of decomposition around the property. Upon further investigation they observed dogs, cats, birds and other animals inside the residence both inside and outside of cages which appeared to be in various stages of neglect. Officers observed several of the animals fighting with each other and felt their safety and well being were in jeopardy. Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Ag Crimes Unit responded to assist with the investigation.

A search warrant was obtained for the residence and Officers entered the residence to secure the animals. Upon entering the residence approximately 140 live animals (dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, rooster, cockatoo, parakeets, cockatiels, chinchilla) were located throughout the residence in various stages of declining health. Officers also located approximately a dozen deceased animals throughout the residence, also in various stages of decomposition. Additional Animal Control Officers were summoned to assist with the removal of all animals from the residence.

Further investigation led to the identity of the property owner as Linda L Baker-Corsiglia, who later returned to the residence with a 16 year old juvenile. It was then determined that the parties were residing in the residence and Child Welfare Services were contacted due to the extremely poor living conditions.The above suspect was arrested without incident and booked on charges of Animal Cruelty/Neglect and Child Endangerment and the juvenile was placed into the custody of Child Welfare Services.

Anyone with information in regards to this case is asked to please contact Sgt. Jody Cox or Det. Mike Hallum of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, Ag Crimes Unit at 559-735-1853 or 559-733-6218.

Update 7/30/10:  A Strathmore woman was arrested after about 140 live animals and a dozen dead ones — in various stages of decomposition — were discovered in her home, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department reported.

A 16-year-old also was living in the home, leading to the woman's arrest on suspicion of child endangerment as well as animal cruelty/neglect, according to a release.

The suspect was identified as Linda L. Baker-Corsiglia. She owns the property involved, officials said.

Deputies conducted a 1:30 p.m. search of the home— which reportedly served as an "animal rescue center" — after Tulare County animal control officers observed animal carcasses on the property, a horse with no food or water and other animals that were fighting or showing signs of neglect, according to the release. The property is in the 21000 block of Road 124.

Animals removed from the residence included dogs, cats, ducks, parakeets, cockatiels, a chinchilla and a rooster, according to the release.

The suspect was arrested without incident and the juvenile was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services officials, according to the release.

Some of the animals inside the home were caged while others were not, officials reported.

Animal-control officials were alerted to possible problems by Kern County officials who said someone had adopted numerous animals from that county. When animal-control personnel discovered the bodies and neglected animals, sheriff's deputies from the Porterville substation and the Ag Crimes Unit were called in to assist with the investigation,
according to the release.

A search warrant was obtained when officials determined that animals' lives were in jeopardy, officials said.

Anyone with information about the discovery of dead and neglected animals at a Strathmore home Thursday is asked to call Sgt. Jody Cox or Detective Mike Hallum at 735-1853 or 733-6218.

Update 8/2/10:  Kern County Animal Control apparently released more than 150 animals to a woman who later was accused of animal cruelty in Tulare County.

"We're hoping that they aren't the ones they have found deceased," said animal control Director Guy Shaw.

It was a tip from Kern County that led Tulare County Animal Control to the remote, rural home where last week it found 140 animals living without basic needs and a dozen animals that had died, the Visalia Times-Delta reported.

Though the bad situation was discovered quickly, Shaw said, "I wish we identified it a little sooner."

Shaw said his staff had an uneasy feeling about Linda Baker-Corsiglia when the Tulare County woman began rescuing animals from the county's Bakersfield animal shelter at the beginning of June.

Baker-Corsiglia was pulling a lot of animals -- cats with litters of kittens and dogs with litters of puppies -- using the non-profit number of a Santa Rosa animal rescue group called Countryside Rescue, Shaw said. She pulled from the shelter every week, he said.

Shaw's staff didn't get a professional vibe from Baker-Corsiglia.

Kern County has a list of 140 rescue groups that can pull from county shelters and rescue coordinators and transporters for about 50 or 60 shelters that take animals regularly, Shaw said.

Shaw said county animal care workers spend a lot of time helping rescue groups pull animals, get them ready for transport and get them into rescue vehicles for the trip to a new home.

Staff let Shaw know something felt wrong about Baker-Corsiglia. Shaw called the president of Countryside Rescue.

Looking back, Shaw said, he wished he'd called Tulare County Animal Control first.

But he gave Countryside the benefit of the doubt. The group president told Shaw everything was great with Baker-Corsiglia. She had a nice big 10-acre property in Strathmore for the animals and could handle the numbers she was taking.

July came around and Baker-Corsiglia continued to pull more and more animals. Kern County Animal Control staff remained concerned.

So Shaw called Tulare County Animal Control.

The situation in Tulare illustrates the difficulty faced by Kern County animal control officials who are tasked with collecting unwanted animals but also trying to reduce the number of those animals they must regularly euthanize.

"We're caught in between," Shaw said.  Several years ago, Kern County was sued for not working with rescues and for euthanizing animals early. So it has pursued working with rescue groups more aggressively.

And in recent years, rescue groups have taken thousands of unwanted animals out of the county shelter before they can be euthanized.

But the county runs the risk, Shaw said, of inadvertently releasing animals to people who will not care for them properly.

So Kern Country tries to be as aggressive as it can -- with limited resources and staff -- about finding problems with rescue groups.

Shaw said Kern County will not allow anyone affiliated with Countryside Rescue to pull animals from county shelters while it further investigates the relationship between it and Baker-Corsiglia.

Update 8/3/10:  The Strathmore woman arrested on suspicion of neglecting more than 200 animals was freed by prosecutors who asked for further investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators failed to provide enough evidence to arraign Linda Corsiglia, 53, on charges of animal cruelty and neglect and of child endangerment, according to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office. She was released from the Bob Wiley Detention Facility.

"There are no charges pending," Assistant District Attorney Shani Jenkins said.

Reference:

Visalia Times-Delta Californian
Tulare County Sheriff