U.S. Sentencing Commission Votes Unanimously To Increase Penalties For Dog Fighting

Written by: Arin Greenwood

April 18, 2016

Dog fighters are now facing longer jail sentences  — and it’s because the public demanded tougher penalties. So good job, humans!

On Friday, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to raise the recommended minimum sentence for convicted dog fighters. The recommended minimum sentence is now 21 to 27 months, up from a range of six to 12 months.

handsome dan

The agency — which sets sentencing policies and guidelines for federal courts — also recommended a sentence range of 6 to 12 months, for those convicted of bringing kids younger than 16 to an animal fight.

In a news release, the agency said these changes came about in response to nearly 50,000 letters from the public, in addition to Congressional changes to the Animal Welfare Act and the Commission’s own research.


The timing is fortunate: More than a dozen suspected dog fighters were arrested in the last week and a half, after busts in five states involving more than 150 dogs.

This move is cheered by the ASPCA — which assisted in the recent busts — the Humane Society of the United States, and other animal welfare groups.

Cherry on Back Deck

The ASPCA’s Nancy Perry said in a statement:

Until now the guidelines didn’t reflect the seriousness with which Congress, law enforcement, and the public view this barbaric activity.


She went on to say:

We are grateful to the U.S. Sentencing Commission for voting to give judges the tools they need to ensure the punishment fits the crime.

Unless Congress directs otherwise, the new sentencing guidelines will go into effect on November 1.

And hey, politically powerful dog lovers — what’s the next fantastic change you’re going to ask for?

Featured image is of Sugar Mama, a dog rescued out of fighting, via Pit Sisters

H/T The Hill

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Written by: Arin Greenwood

April 18, 2016

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