April 8th is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day, a day which attempts to bring awareness to one of the cruelest forms of animal abuse: dog fighting. Dogs that are forced to participate in dog fighting frequently suffer extreme physical and mental abuse.
Often times, dogs that are used in dog fighting are kept chained up or in cages with little access to basic necessities until they are forced to fight. In the cruel world of dog fighting, it is kill or be killed. These poor animals are used as nothing more than entertainment and deserve to live much better lives than what they are given. Usually, animals subjected to dog fighting have their ears mangled or tails docked in inhumane ways in order to hide the dog’s body language or reduce the areas the other animal could grab.
Dog fighting is illegal in every state, but tens of thousands of people still ignore the laws and have no regard for the animals needs just caring about their own selfish gain in profit or entertainment. According to law enforcement agencies around the country, dog fighting is often associated with other illegal activities such as illegal gambling, drugs and firearms. Spotting the signs of potential dog fighting could be key to saving countless animals’ lives and preventing future crimes. Look for signs such as:
Dogs on heavy chains or tethered up
Dirt rings around where the dog is being kept
Dogs chained inches apart from one another
Facial scaring and puncture wounds around their face, head, neck, chest or limbs
No dog deserves to go through each day fearing for their lives. The cruel and inhumane “sport” of dog fighting is one of the worst forms of animal abuse. It is up to each of us to put a stop to this cruel and inhumane punishment unfairly cast upon these helpless animals. Be their voice and report suspected dog fighting by calling 9-1-1.
These Louisiana statutes comprise the state’s anti-cruelty provisions. The term “cruel” is defined in the first section every act or failure to act whereby unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted. The crime of cruelty to animals is subdivided into simple cruelty or aggravated cruelty. Simple cruelty occurs when a person intentionally or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, or overworks, torments, cruelly beats, or unjustifiably injures, or, having charge, custody, or possession of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, unjustifiably fails to provide any living animal with proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, or proper veterinary care.
Title 14. Criminal Law. Chapter 1. Criminal Code. Part VI. Offenses Affecting The Public Generally. Subpart B. Offenses Affecting The Public Sensibility
§ 102.5. Dogfighting; training and possession of dogs for fighting
A. No person shall intentionally do any of the following:
(1) For amusement or gain, cause any dog to fight with another dog, or cause any dogs to injure each other.
(2) Permit any act in violation of Paragraph (1) to be done on any premises under his charge or control, or aid or abet any such act.
(3) Promote, stage, advertise, or be employed at a dogfighting exhibition.
(4) Sell a ticket of admission or receive money for the admission of any person to any place used, or about to be used, for any activity described in Paragraph (2).
(5) Own, manage, or operate any facility kept or used for the purpose of dogfighting.
(6) Knowingly attend as a spectator at any organized dogfighting event.
(7)(a) Own, possess, keep, or train a dog for purpose of dogfighting.
(b) The following activities shall be admissible as evidence of a violation of this Paragraph:
(i) Possession of any treadmill wheel, hot walker, cat mill, cat walker, jenni, or other paraphernalia, together with evidence that the paraphernalia is being used or intended for use in the unlawful training of a dog to fight with another dog, along with the possession of any such dog.
(ii) Tying, attaching, or fastening any live animal to a machine or power propelled device, for the purpose of causing the animal to be pursued by a dog, together with the possession of a dog.
(iii) Possession or ownership of a dog exhibiting injuries or alterations consistent with dogfighting, including but not limited to torn or missing ears, scars, lacerations, bite wounds, puncture wounds, bruising or other injuries, together with evidence that the dog has been used or is intended for use in dogfighting.
B. “Dogfighting” means an organized event wherein there is a display of combat between two or more dogs in which the fighting, killing, maiming, or injuring of a dog is the significant feature, or main purpose, of the event.
C. Whoever violates any provision of Subsection A of this Section shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars, or be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or both.
D. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit any of the following activities:
(1) The use of dogs for hunting.
(2) The use of dogs for management of livestock by the owner, his employees or agents, or any other person having lawful custody of livestock.
(3) The training of dogs or the possession or use of equipment in the training of dogs for any purpose not prohibited by law.
(4) The possessing or owning of dogs with ears cropped or otherwise surgically altered for cosmetic purposes.