Congresswoman Betty Sutton introduced legislation to increase federal penalties for dog fighting. This bill has 9 co-sponsors. People care about dogs. The same legislation has been introduced in the Senate by John Kerry.
There are so many loopholes in the current dog fighting laws that people can easily slip through. Spectators are currently not open for prosecution. They are the reason dog fights happen, so they are just as bad.
“My legislation will close these loopholes and make our federal animal welfare laws more comprehensive by ensuring that anybody who knowingly sponsors, exhibits an animal in or views a dog-fighting venture can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. My legislation also ensures that it is illegal to buy, sell, possess, train, transport or deliver any animal specifically for the purpose of participating in a dog-fighting venture,” Sutton said.
There could be tens of thousands of people involved in dog fighting in the US every year. Even in Ohio, dog fighting is a popular activity. “In March, a federal grand jury in Dayton, Ohio, indicted nine people on 45 counts for their roles in the operation of an extensive, multi-state dog-fighting ring.” NE Ohio has also seen some dog fighting and cock fighting cases.
The legislation will also delete provisions in current law requiring prosecutors to prove that animals crossed state lines to fight and increase the penalty for dog fighting from a maximum three-year prison sentence to a five-year prison sentence.
It should have a much longer sentence, in my opinion – participation in dog fighting unveils some serious psychological problems, and animal abuse often leads to domestic violence and other crimes.
Dogs are so amazing and should be treasured for the joy they bring people. I hope this legislation does a little more to deter this vicious activity.