2009 Kicks Off with More Efforts to Stop Animal Fighting!

Dog used for fightingThe fight to stop animal fighting continues in 2009. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a bill that increases penalties for spectators at animal fights from one month in jail and a $250 fine to 2 ½ years in the house of correction or 5 years in the state prison or a $1000 fine or both a fine and prison term. ALM GL ch. 272, §95

Though the fine is still low in view of money that can be made especially at dog fights with purses in the thousands of dollars, the prison terms are substantial. Hopefully, this will deter gamblers and other bettors who encourage this horrific blood sport.

The bill signed by the governor will also make it illegal for any person to "knowingly create, purchase, rent, possess, lease, host on a computer, server, or Internet location a depiction of animal cruelty."   Fines for violators can range up to $500 and they can also face jail for up to a year.

Anyone who sells, markets, leases or offers to market or sell a depiction of animal cruelty or distribute it for commercial gain or entertainment can face double that in fines and jail time.

Click here for more on efforts of other states to stop animal fighting.  Find out here about animal fighting hotlines and how they can help.