Dogfighting Legislation Would Crack Down On Spectators

Share |
(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Right now, spectators at California dog fights can be charged with a misdemeanor – and could face up to a year in jail. But Democratic Assemblyman Pedro Nava wants to change that: “What I have to say is that if you are a spectator at a dogfight, I want you to go to prison.” Under Nava’s new bill, spectators would face the same penalties as those involved in organizing the fight or owning the dogs – 16 months to three years in prison – and some hefty fines. Nava says 19 other states already consider watching a dogfight a felony. Eric Sakach with the Humane Society of the United States says that’s made the situation in California worse: “We’re rapidly becoming an island surrounded by other states with stronger penalties for this crime.” Sakach and Nava argue spectators keep the activity alive by paying admission fees and gambling on the fights. Dog-fighting is illegal in all 50 states.