Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states, but the punishment rarely fits the crime: Did you know that convicted dog fighters receive prison sentences as low as six months in jail and almost half of all offenders only get probation?
The good news is that the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which creates sentencing guidelines, is currently proposing to raise the minimum sentence for animal fighting from 6-12 to 21-27 months. In its fight to end dog fighting, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is urging the public to support these increased sentences!
“The current guidelines for dog fighting are woefully inadequate, and don’t come close to matching the heightened seriousness with which Congress, law enforcement, and the public view this barbaric activity,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO. “By proposing to amend the animal fighting guidelines, the U.S. Sentencing Commission moves us one step closer to giving judges the tools they need to both punish these criminals more appropriately and deter potential criminals.”
Do you think the minimum sentence for animal fighting crimes should be raised? If so, please submit a public comment on the issue through aspca.org/gettough. The deadline for public comments is March 21, so act fast! And please share the link and the video below to raise attention and awareness to this important topic.
For more info on animal fighting, please see this resource from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.