Dog Fighting Lawyers

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What is dog fighting?

Dog fighting is the act of having trained dogs fight, usually to the death, for the purpose of entertainment and/or gambling.

Is dog fighting illegal?

Dog fighting is illegal in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal government also prohibits dog fighting, but this law only comes into play when the illegal activity crosses state lines.A nimal cruelty is the most apparent negative aspect of dog fighting, but it is also linked to organized crime and other illegal activities.

While dog fighting would almost certainly be covered by the more general laws that most states have against animal cruelty, all of them have decided to specifically outlaw it. Most state laws characterize dog fighting as “for amusement or gain, causing dogs to fight or injure each other,” or something to that effect. In many states, it is also illegal for landowners to knowingly allow dog fights on their property. Many states have also made it illegal to even be present at a dog fight, with or without direct participation.

What is the punishment if I am convicted of dog fighting?

The punishments for participation in a dog fight vary between the states, but they usually top off at prison sentences of 3-5 years.  The most famous criminal defendant convicted of dog fighting, NFL star Michael Vick, garnered national and worldwide attention. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal charges related to an operation on his property which involved dog fighting and gambling. Vick served 21 months in prison, then 2 months in home confinement.

 

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Last Modified: 07-13-2010 11:26 AM PDT

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