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Tougher dogfighting laws in Michigan bring up to 20 years in jail and $100,000 fines

P8010053_thumb By Tamara | January 03, 2013 | Comments (25)

dogfighting dog

Beginning this month, dogfighting in Michigan will carry much heavier sentences. Dogfighting can be prosecuted and carry sentences of up to 20 years in jail and fines of $100,000. The new legislation is the toughest in the United States and was signed into law in December 2012 by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Vicki Deisner, ASPCA's state director for the Midwest told the Lansing State Journal that "Michigan is out ahead on this one". Prior to the changes, the felony was punishable by up to 4 years in jail and up to $50,000 maximum fine. 

With the new laws, police are allowed to seize homes and vehicles associated with animal fighting and to shut down any venue associated with animal fighting. They can also add animal fighting, shooting and baiting as racketeering crimes.

Sen. Rick Jones, a sponsor of the legislation, said the bills send the message that "Michigan is not a good place to bring dogfighting: 20 years in prison, $100,000 fine, lose your house, your barn, your property, cars, anything involved with this crime." He said, "It's sweeping legislation that has been noticed nationwide as a real example of getting tough on a terrible blood sport, where you have dogs torn apart for gambling and profit."

The tougher legislation, in essence, attempts to takes the profit away from those involved in the violent blood sport. It's estimated gambling at a single match can bring in tens of thousands of dollars. Dogfighting also is a magnet for other criminal activity such as illegal gambling, drugs and guns. According to the ASPCA, nationwide dogfighting is a multimillion-dollar "industry" with Detroit, Flint and Kalamazoo, being hotbeds for dogfighting. In August last year, 46 dogs were rescued from an operation in Kalamazoo.

Wayne County's assistant prosecutor Raj Prasad said of the legislation, "It enables us to go after the more long-term breeders and fighters. These laws are designed to go after the bigger operations that have a lot more invested in dogfighting, cockfighting."




View more articles in: Advocacy and Animal Welfare

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Comments on this Article

This should be the law in EVERY state!
Thank you, Gov. Snyder and Senator Rick Jones! May you be rewarded by our Lord! I pray too that stiffer laws will be imposed in other states and follow your example!
I agree it should be world wide, heartless people using them as game.
All states should follow Michigan's lead! Kudos to the lawmakers in Michigan!
All states should follow Michigan's lead! Kudos to the lawmakers in Michigan!
Way to go folks in Michigan. I hope that other states will follow suit.
Joyce , I'm sorry that I angered you. You and I simply have different viewpoints. Everyone in this world doesn't think the same way.You brought Jesus Christ into this conversation. I see Jesus as a kind man that stops people from stoning a woman for her immoral acts. He also told a thief on the cross beside him he would take him to heaven with him. I think he showed compassion to all people. I do not believe he told any dogs he would take them to heaven with him. I believe that it has been proven that most convicts repeat their crimes after being released from prison. Plus they learn many new ways to commit crimes when they are in prison. I do not know why I even spoke up on this topic. I'm not going to change any-one's mind. I can reassure you that no person is going to change mine.
ppl who are involved in sick inhumaine dog fighting have no value on life so they derserve to be severly puinished if they have a family with children they will be violent with them also...b cause they have no value on life....for they animal so why would they have any value on children??? Screw they money thats what jobs are for......these ppl need to be sought out and found and inflicted with pain like they caused the animal to see how it feels....Im serious...very serious....beat them to a pulp, so thy know how thy poor defensless animal feels....thats the whiole problem their tough guys b c they hide b hind guns,,,take away their weapons and see how tough they are...locking them up with luxuries in prison, is not punishment,and its not enough Like I said they need beaten and need to feel pain....and Eye for and Eye ...a Tooth for a tooth...Christ had to suffer senselessly on the cross for our sins now these rotten sinners and inhumaine ppl need to suffer too for what they do maybe they will think twice b 4 ever doing that again to a helpless animal...
Anyone who says that dog fighting is not a danger to people does not understand the full nature of these crimes. The drugs the guns the money that supports gang activity. The reason these dog fighting rings continue is because of the large amount of money involved. Fines don't always work. Garnishing one of these hard core animal abusers is a joke. Are societies expected to pardon anyone who commits a serious offence because they have children. There are so many other ways to cut costs in the prison system that does not involve letting these barbaric and twisted crimes going unpunished.
We all need to stick together!! Dog fighting is against the law, but we need "stranger" law, So Randy, If someone hits an old lady and just gives her a black eye, but she'll be okay should we just tell them don't do it again and not put him in jail because it cost to much? I feel if you do some thing that is against the law you should go to jail. I'm sure Randy their are alot of people who feel the same way you do, but their alot more that feel the way I do. And because of the way you feel I have made alot of phone calls about this. My taxes are well spent. I will do what I have to do to speak for the animals. "law breakers go to JAIL"
I love dogs and all animals. I am smart enough to know that we are spending our country broke. I have no person I know in prison or have never ever even been in jail. Yet I think to many people are being sent to prison for what I consider crimes that do not indanger the human population. I saw where in michigan there is a law trying to be passed to put these young men in prison for fighting dogs for 20 years. It cost '$50,000 plus' yearly to keep a person in prison. That is 1,000,000 price tag on that 20 year stay. If every group gets there way there will be more people in prison than out of prison in the future. Our country will spend itself broke. Then no person can afford to have a dog or keep any pet if this country fails. I believe when any person is taken from his family his children who do not have a father to discipline then turn out to be as bad if not worst in their criminal activities. If we put a band on those convicted of dogfighting's leg. His movement can be supervised. Plus a fine for these crimes like dogfighting. Let him work and pay his fine adjusted to be taken out of each check. Everyone wins including the dogs. I feel for these children hanging on their fathers leg crying as they drag him away. Is everyone so blind they can't see that america is spending itself broke.
Dog fighting is not gambling its flat out sick and cruelity to a precious animal that just wants to be loved and have a happy safe home...and family to give love to....If I could b out there catching these sick pigs I would beat them with my bare hands as well as stop their reproductivness so they will never have kids b cause they certianly do not in any way deserve to ever have them or they would be next....on the abuse list...Im with u Seu James I agree...we do need to stick together..Im with u!!!!we need teams all over the world searching for any type and any sort of cruelity any where even in homes, back yards, buildings , whare houses, and just every where...we have to rescue these pets even labs where they are tortuing other animals I cant take much moreI just want to explode over all this...Bears monkeys horses cats sea animals, I fed up with this, its all u hear ,,,what in the world is wrong with with this sick sick sick world of ppl we call humans????? Their uncivilized pigs that don't derserve to be on this earth...
I am so up set and furious, at the cruelity to animals and children why don't we just make the law that he who hurts tortures starves injures kills or causes any type of abusse in any way gets beaten and hand and foot blown off or cut off! with no pain killer!!!Inflict pain to the abuser no questions asked and make this mandatory...maybe just maybe we can put a dent in stopping this once and for all...or just give them the death penalty...doesn't sound to harsh to me for they have done....our laws stink morans seem to make them...thats why cruelity continues over and over again every where,,,the laws are screwed up!!!!!!! going to prision is not harsh enough for this type of crime b cause the criminal doesn't get to feel the pain they have made an innocent animal feel....they need to loose a limb or 2and really really feel physical pain for a pay back!!!!!!!!!! lets START A LAW LIKE THIS...HOW ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!
Sadly, in the same Michigan lame duck session they rammed through changing the gray wolf in the state to a game animal, so that will provide some hundreds or thousands of people who enjoy slaughtering canines with an alternative outlet. And they only charge the lucky hunter $100. Gray wolves are intelligent, social animals, not game animals. Members of extended families depending on each other for everything from food to wisdom to pack birth control. They are the animal ancient man was fated to domesticate first because nearly all tamed unconfined ones and naturally wary wild ones could be trusted near children they were guarding, giving us the dogs we have.
People engaged in dog fighting rings are violent offenders. Dog fighting kills thousands of dogs in the most barbaric way. The people who perpetrate these crimes are also involved in guns drugs and other criminal activities. There are a large number of prisoners in the American prison system, who are considered to be none violent and at a low risk to reoffend. These crimes are mostly petty drug related offenses that are costing the hard working American tax payer so much. There also needs to be changes to the parol system in some states to slow recidivism. The legislation brought forward in Michigan is explained very clearly in the last paragraph as a tool to go after the most violent reoffenders. These people reoffend because there is such a large amount of money involved. So fines even large ones don't always work. We dog and animal lovers are not a small fringe group, our numbers are in the millions and growing.
If every group of people got their way and sent the people to prison that didn't go along with their ideas. I think the prisons would have more people in them than out of them. Yes dogfighting is cruel and needs to be stopped. I wrote what I wrote trying to to stop it with fines rather than prison. Their are groups after my social security and my religion and my right to privacy. I make comments to them just like I do the people who are helping the bankruptcy of America by adding to the population to our prisons. No I have never been arrested and have no one that I know of in prison. I am looking for ways to stop government spending. Sorry you are offended. If you live long enough and our country is Bankrupt. No country is exempt from failure. Most of them have failed along the way. Just remember what I said.
So, Randy you are telling us that it doesn't matter if you beat the hell or kill an animal it's not that important! "REALLY" Doing any thing like this to an animal is HEARTLESS! Anyone who see or hears about animal abuse gets upset, It is a law and you will be punished you can not hurt animals. With the taxes I pay I don't mind it going to put people in jail for hurting animals. I'm really soory you feel that way
I am worried about all the money the USA spends each years on prisoners in penitentiaries. It cost fifty thousand a prisoner average to keep a person locked up for a year. We lock up way more people in the USA than any other country. Each time you put someone in prison. You have to lay off a teacher or with that money you can hire a teacher. I predict someday the USA will be broke and people will be going hungry. Then we may be eating dogs rather than putting people in jail for dogfighting. Why not fine dog-fighters big bucks and make money for the country. Someday people will be put in jail for swatting a flies or deer hunting if our country keeps going in the direction it is going. What a web we have woven here in the USA and we become more tangled in that web as we go forward.
Dog fighting is another form of gambling. The sole difference is it is at the cost of innocent lives of animals, who have no rights nor voice to opt out. It's not a matter of IF but WHEN all animal lovers/rescuers stick together, we can make necessary changes to protect the innocent animals. You are either in or out when it comes to animal welfare.
I hope and pray all states will take heed and follow Michigan's example. If they don't, dog fighters will simply move out of Michigan into another state and continue their horrific torture of these animals.
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