Landmark Decision in 2nd Largest Dog Fighting Case
November 12, 2014
History was made in the U.S. with some of the strongest sentences ever issued for a federal dog fighting case. The case of the second largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history that took place on August 2013, just ended with eight people sentenced from six months to eight years in federal prison. The case was led by the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
Judge Watkins estimated that the defendants had injured or killed between 420 to 640 dogs in the course of this dog fighting operation. “These dogs lived in deplorable conditions that constituted extraordinary cruelty,” stated U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. “They were made to fight and if they lost, they were killed. In addition to the brutality experienced by the dogs, these events attracted drugs dealers and illegal gambling. It was not uncommon for large amounts of cash, often between twenty and two-hundred thousand dollars, to change hands. The prospect of huge profits made these fights even more popular and provided a venue for other criminal activity. I hope that these sentences demonstrate the seriousness of this crime and will deter others from committing these atrocities.”
Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In early 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which now makes it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight of any kind, and imposes additional penalties for bringing a minor to a fight. The HSUS and ASPCA work with the federal government to investigate and conduct raids to bust illegal animal fighting in the U.S.
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