FINALLY – A just punishment for dog fighting

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Kudos to U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins, who handed down a record $2 million fine this week on participants in a major dog-fighting operation – to serve as restitution to help cover the care of the dogs involved.

The same judge also imposed the longest sentence ever in a federal dog-fighting case.

The Star-Telegram reports the money will go to two animal-welfare groups who cared for the 451 dogs rescued in the case.

The key, evil organizer in the operation received eight years in prison and fined $580,000. Another individual was ordered to pay to pay $627,389 and spend four years behind ball. And another got five years and $458,752.

This sort of justice needs to happen much more often – especially when the crimes involve acts of cruelty involving animals and people.

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Video: HSUS assists with rescue at Alabama fighting-dog breeding operation

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It is so sad what some people will do for profit. In the case exposed below, it is called hog dog fighting.

The Humane Society of the US assisted law enforcement recently with a rescue at a breeding operation, where dogs are bred to fight pigs.

Degenerates actually place bets as dogs are released to attack pigs.

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Montana Representative’s proposal could further endanger abused animals

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Montana state representative Rep. Theresa Manzella (R-Darby) has proposed a law where animal shelters would need permission from the accused to take in and care for the animals in abuse cases.

Manzella claims shelter and humane staff have too much authority now in taking in animals from these cases. But those opposed to her proposal fear animal abusers could use the provisions to block even law enforcement officials from seizing animals.

The story ran Saturday on the Ravalli Republic website. The fear also is that shelters will shy away from taking in seized dogs, even when law enforcement brings them in.

A concern I have is for dog-fighting cases. Are the dog fighters going to be able to keep their dogs, as the case works its way through the courts? I think the welfare of the abuse animals needs to be a greater concern.

The actual text of the proposal is not included in the article. If the wording has any holes in it, the abusers will take full advantage.

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HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle reviews results for 2014

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In his A Humane Nation blog this week, Humane Society of the United States leader Wayne Pacelle reviewed the organization’s “Top Transformational Results of 2014.”

The list features:

South Dakota becoming the 5oth US state to adopt a felony animal-cruelty law.

It is now a federal crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.

The truly idiotic and evil “King Amendment” was tossed out of the Farm Bill.

A federal appellate court rightfully overturned a horrible ruling from a lower that might have tossed out the animal crush video law. If I recall, the lower court tried to claim that torturing and brutally killing animals was protected free speech. That’s one for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame.

So arguably the current leader for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame is Citizens United.

A number of countries have agreed to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Three horse-slaughter plants were blocked from opening this year.

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule blocks the importation of puppies for sale. This means at least foreign puppy mills can’t sell here.

Internet sellers of puppy now have to follow USDA guidelines. The HSUS helped to block a legal challenge to this ruling.

Better protections are in place for animals suffering through experiments in labs.

The World Trade Organization is thankfully supporting European Union’s ban on products resulting from the horrific Canadian seal hunts.

The wolf hunts were stopped in Michigan.

New York and New Jersey became the first states to banned the sale of Ivory. This one should become a federal ban.

And Pacelle states the “…  International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling’s ban on commercial hunting.”

Read Pacelle’s full rundown at the link above.

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Florida has one really messed up criminal justice system

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A news story concerning a convicted dog fighter appeared this week on the Pack News Wire. The Highlands Today article reported on the recent conviction of a man charged with dogfighting.

What he did to the dogs is horrible and the soft punishment he will receive makes matters far more atrocious. It seems a criminal in Florida must amass 22 so-called points on their record before they are sentenced to prison time.

The story notes the man had only 4.5 points last year when he was convicted of a felonly for attending a dog fight (which could have led to a maximum of five years behind bars) and resisting arrest. He also has a drunk-driving conviction on his record, along with other crimes.

So he is a long way from going to prison. What does it take to get major points in Florida? What does it take the court system there to decide the safety of the innocent comes first?

The courts and the state legislature has announced to the nation’s criminals that – “if you want get-out-of-jail free points, just come on down to Florida, where you are welcome to commit multiple major crimes with impunity. And we’ll gladly let you know when you’re close to amassing too many points.

“Hey, we’ve even got a phone app called ‘Crime Points,’ where you’ll receive a free text message when you reach 18.

“Want to fight dogs here? – Well don’t worry. It’s gonna take you at least a good six convictions or more in criminal-friendly Florida, before you have to actually serve time. And that’s just if you’re caught.

“We have a host of criminals on staff who have been let off free and clear by juries. They will counsel you on how to beat your rap. We want to be the customer-friendly criminal justice system.

“So come on down to Florida. We’re not really the sunshine state.”

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Two dogfighting stories interconnect

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An Associated Press article from November 22 reports dogfighting continues to thrive, despite the law enforcement focus and press coverage. The big money involved is too much of a draw for the evil participants within this criminal industry.

The article rightfully notes weak laws are largely to blame. The leaders of dogfighting operations have little fear of real punishment. The criminal justice system amounts to little more than a minor inconvenience for people who abuse animals.

The slap-on-the-wrist style of punishment was never more evident than in a recent case in New York. The Long Island Press reported November 25 that a man who pleaded guilty back in August to animal cruelty and animal fighting charges was given probation and community service and was banned for possessing animals for only five years.

So he won’t serve time for a horrific crime and in five short years will be able to have pets. How any judge or anyone who voted for or supports this level punishment would think a dog fighter will be okay around animals in five years is stunningly misguided.

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Senate candidate isn’t really against cockfighting

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Back to blogging this week, as things have been really hectic at my house, with a sick dog and lots of writing deadlines. Carl the rescued greyhound is much better now – thankfully.

So I’m playing some catch-up with stories from April that I had filed away for comment.

First up is an unbelievable statement from a US Senate candidate in Kentucky. Matt Bevin reportedly spoke at some point at a pro-cockfighting rally and now says any legislation in this area should be left up to the states.

So it’s not a stretch in reading about Bevin’s thoughts to see that he would be okay with some states making cockfighting legal. In 2014, this is a horrendous position to take.

Anyone who understands the horrors of dog fighting or cockfighting would never suggest that it’s okay for some states to allow these industries to exist.


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Sebelius is out – and it’s a good thing – and your dog agrees with me

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I never supported Kathleen Sebelius having a role in any level of government and your dog agrees with me. Now that she has announced her resignation as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, I consider it the correction of a long-running mistake.

If you read this blog post to your dogs, that look on their face actually says, “Grady is right. That person is no lover of dogs.”

Admittedly, I have one, primary reason for not supporting Sebelius. She supported greyhound racing in Kansas. She didn’t merely look the other way, she openly supported dog racing. In this century, with all of the information available with a few Internet clicks, she supports dog racing.

It’s the kind of stand that – in my view – disqualifies someone from holding office. It shows a level of poor decision-making abilities. It indicates the individual has been lazy in researching information about the subject at hand.

Appointing Sebelius was a huge mistake. It ranks up there with voters in Iowa electing Rep. Steve King, who fought against regulations to punish those who attend dog fights.


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Important new terminology coined for behavioral condition

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We all see the news accounts of celebrities and regular Joes engaged in really stupid activities – from drunk driving to substance abuse to other extreme behavior. We all read about the votes cast by politicians and the statements some of them make, based on warped ideas.

We all see the completely illogical statements made by those fighting against legal protections for animals, to shield them from horrible abuse. We can come up with countless examples of people doing really stupid things.

But until now, science did not have all-encompassing term to cover these behaviors or actions. Let’s call the condition – “Self-Inflicted Brain Deficiency Syndrome.”

Th condition can be cured with an injection of common sense. But when the condition is advanced, the subject’s brain can reject common sense.

A number of young celebrities bouncing around the headlines of late have Self-Inflicted Brain Deficiency Syndrome. They are following the dead-end path so many others before them followed. But they can’t see it, because they choose to have Self-Inflicted Brain Deficiency Syndrome.

Congressman Steve King, who has expressed opposition to animal-welfare bills, including those that would make it federal crime to attend a dog fight. Steve King has Self-Inflicted Brain Deficiency Syndrome. Okay, it’s possible that in some cases, it isn’t self-inflicted.


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Breaking News: King Amendment removed from Farm Bill

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This is BIG news. The horrible King Amendment has been removed from the Farm Bill. The amendment is named for the single biggest supporter of animal cruelty in the US government – Rep. Steve King.

The mission for King and his amendment, was to gut animal cruelty laws across the nation and to prevent states from passing legislation to protect animals from abuse. But the Farm Bill Conference Committee has agreed to drop the seriously-flawed idea.

On its website, the World Society for Protection of Animals posted a statement by Anne Lieberman –
Executive Director, WSPA USA

If included, the King Amendment would have lowered standards for agriculture production and weakened current state-based laws (like in California, whose laws allow certain animals to move freely and extend their limbs while confined). This would have had serious negative consequences for the welfare of millions of farm animals and for consumers.

The Humane Society of the US also praised another key provision in the latest version of the Farm Bill:

The compromise bill includes a provision making it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fighting event, based on the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which will fortify the federal law against organized and barbaric dogfighting and cockfighting rings.

So good news here. This is another huge setback for Steve King, who has expressed opposition to prohibiting kids from attending animal fighting events. Yes, I know; it’s unbelievable. How could anyone think it’s okay to bring kids to a dog or cock fight. The man serious needs a visit from Dickens’ Three Ghost.

The US House could vote on the revised bill on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Kathy Kangas of the HSUS wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post on Jan. 24, concerning the evil King Amendment.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is celebrating King’s defeat and offered the following as part of their statement:

With today’s news, the recent renewal of the ban on horse slaughter inspection, and last week’s tabling of New Hampshire’s Ag-Gag bill, it looks like 2014 is off to a great legislative start so far!

And back on Jan. 23, the LA Times offered its take, under the great headline: “Iowa Rep. Steve King lays an egg on the Farm Bill.”

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