Another dog fighting case, where the criminal will be allowed to have animals again

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It has happened again, an animal-cruelty case where the guilty party has been handed a very light sentence. An Illinois man pleaded guilty in the case and received an 18-month sentence – in what a Post-Tribune story calls “an alternative program and on probation.”

Juble Nathan Hairston will have to perform 120 hours of community service and pay back the Humane Society of the US for $2,000 of its costs for caring for the canine victims.

He is only banned from having pets while he serves his sentence. Somebody thinks its okay to allow a dog fighter to have another dog or cat after 18 months has passed.

I will never understand why some elements of the criminal justice system find it is so difficult to impose a lifetime ban on possessing animals. In severe cases such as this, a lifetime ban should always be a part of the sentencing. Why put more animals at risk of suffering.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Columnist needs to engage in a bit more research on dog fighting

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The Pack News Wire today pulled in a column by a writer with the Yorkton News out of Saskatchewan. The headline of his column was – “Think about the information you spread around.”

He suggested people spreading rumors that dog-fighting operations were stealing pets to use in dog fights just had it all wrong. He couldn’t believe that anyone would do this, because pet dogs would make terrible fighting dogs. So his point was – people shouldn’t be spreading these rumors about things they know little about.

I really don’t like to take on other writers, but I couldn’t let this one pass.

The fact is, dog-fighting operations do steal pets, to use as bait dogs, in an attempt to make their dogs more aggressive. The writer’s overall theme is correct. Blank rumors should not be spread around. But he fell into his own trap by spreading the false rumor that fighting operations don’t steal dogs.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

How does an anti-dog fighting bill stall in the US House?

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The current Farm Bill contains a provision to criminalize attending an animal-fighting event – at the federal level. And a article notes:

Spectators would face additional charges if they brought a minor to witness the fight.

How both of these activities are not already federal crimes – serious federal crimes – is beyond unbelievable. But the article also reminds readers that last year’s Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act somehow stalled in the US House.

It’s good that the Farm Bill contains the provisions. But on the down side, the penalties are way too soft. Attending an animal fight could lead to a year in prison and a fine. Bringing a minor to a animal fight could lead to three years in prison. In both cases, the offenders will most likely spend far less time behind bars.

But overall, how is it that there is a debate going on about punishing people who take part in animal-fighting rings and how is it that politicians are dragging their feet on punishing people who bring kids to dog fights?


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Another very weak sentence handed down for severe animal cruelty

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A man who pleaded guilty last month to felony dog fighting charges in Alabama will serve only nine months jail and then a year of house arrest. And four years probation was tacked on, along with 100 hours of community service at an animal shelter.

To add insult to injury for the dogs he severely abused, the court will allow him to possess animals again after his probation period.

So only nine months of real punishment and then he can go right back to abusing dogs again. I cannot fathom why our criminal justice system continues to hand out these slap-on-the-wrist sentences and then agrees to put more animals at risk, after a very short period of time.

It is time to impose automatic, lifetime bans on animal abusers.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

NC judge orders suspect to pay for dogs’ care in dog fighting case

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An individual accused of dog fighting has been ordered by a judge in Charlotte, NC to pay for the care of the 27 dogs seized judge in the case. Two men were charged back in February with training dogs to fight.

The expenses were set at $14,000 – as reported by WCNC. If he doesn’t pay in five days, he loses “ownership” of the dogs. So the bad news is, it sounds like he won’t be absolutely forced to pay.

The dogs will be evaluated for adoption. But the following from the article offers hope –

“It’s horrible,” said Shannon Corkwell, a supervisor with Animal Care and Control. “These are dogs that seek our attention. They want us to pet them, they want us to play with them — and somebody’s taken them for a blood sport for their own entertainment.”

Despite their terrible ordeal, these dogs can recognize that the people at the shelter are there to help them – not harm them.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Interesting Reads: Puppy mills; Greyhound racing; Dog fighting

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North Carolina resident Bud Wright’s editorial about dog fighting, published March 1 on the Daily Advance website, is a good one. His thoughts were prompted by a recent dog-fighting ring bust in the northeast corner of the state.

He put the topic in the right context with this statement, near the end of the piece:

I won’t mince words. Anyone who participates in this sickening slaughter — at any level — no longer qualifies for the designation “human,” in my opinion.

Well done.

On the topic of greyhound racing, a feature about Greyhound Connection (out of California) ran February 27 on the UT San Diego website. The co-founder of the organization is quoted as saying thousands of greyhounds are destroyed each year and that “usually by the age of 5 they are pretty beaten up.”

I’m really pleased when I read about a greyhound rescue group that speaks out against greyhound racing. Some bill themselves as ‘neutral.’ But the two primary goals for every racing dog rescue group should be to save as many dogs as possible and to shut down dog racing.

AND – an article ran Monday on the website out of Kentucky, under the headline, “Puppy Mills on the Rise.” It estimates there are between 2,000 and 3,000 USDA licensed breeders operating in the United States. But there are untold numbers of breeders operating outside the scope of the the USDA.

The article also notes the Humane Society of the US estimates between 2 and 4 million puppy mills are sold in this country each year here.

For all of those pro-puppy millers who regularly claim there’s not a definition for the phrase ‘puppy mill,’ the article offers yet another one:

A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that puts profits over the well-being of dogs. These dogs are severely mistreated and neglected their whole lives.

That is a good definition, among many.


Two more cases of very weak sentencing for dog fighting

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In Missouri last week, a man charged with dog fighting pleaded guilty to one count, as part of a plea deal to reduce the number from four original counts. His punishment for this horrible crime? – A three-year suspended sentence, a $3,000 fine and five years of probation.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch story also reports he cannot ‘own’ or live in a residence with a dog, but it does not indicate if this only for the probation period. Once again, a VERY weak sentence for taking part in the torture of animals.

And in the Bronx, NY, a man pleaded guilty to taking part in a major dog-fighting operation. He was sentenced to one to three years in prison for animal fighting and one year for animal cruelty. But he will serve them concurrently.

He is only barred from having animals during the period of his parole, as reported by the North Country Gazette. For one thing, who in their right mind would think a person guilty of dog fighting should ever be able to be around animals?

He be out in no time and dogs will again be at risk. And the other dog fighters who see how lenient the courts are will continue to torture animals.


This story reflects one key reason why dog fighting still exists

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Why is dog fighting still a major problem in this country? One key answer to this question is the fact that the punishment for this horrible crime is too often very, very weak.

Case in point – Shelby County, Ohio, where a father, mother and son are set to be sentenced for dog fighting. reports the maximum sentence each one them faces is 90 days in jail and as much as a $750 fine. To his credit, the County Sheriff is seeking over $27,000, to cover the cost of the investigation and the care of the dogs.

Realize that they will not serve the full 90 days, on top of the fine being a joke. And I will be surprised to hear that they’ve actually been forced to pay the restitution.

This penalty is less than a slap on the wrist to people who have the mental capacity to torture animals. When will our state legislatures, our federal government and our judicial system understand this? Who could possible think this weak level of punishment is appropriate?


Big dog-fighting operation shut down in Charlotte

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg police raided a dog-fighting operation, one officials there state is the largest ever uncovered by the department. Twenty-seven pit bulls were rescued from the site.

The Raleigh News & Observer reports the two men arrested were “charged with felony training of animals with the purpose of dogfighting and baiting.”

An article noted the dogs were tied up with large chains. This is a red flag for dog fighting.
The Charlotte Observer article points out this alleged operation was set up in backyard, in a neighborhood and near an elementary school. Often, dog fighters set up their houses of horror in rural areas, where they can hide.
Thankfully, the Observer reports Animal Care and Control hopes to either put the dogs up for adoption or send them out for rehabilitation. Two puppies were found on the property.

Over two dozen pit bulls rescued from suspected dog fighting ring in Florida

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Twenty-six pit bulls were rescued Monday afternoon from a yard in Plant City, Fla., from what is believed to be a dog fighting operation.

ABC Action News quoted Pam Perry of the Hillsborough County Animal Services as saying,”It is weekly [that we bust these rings].”

Lets be extremely clear about this. We will continue to see reports of dogs being tortured in dog-fighting rings until laws are passed nationwide that will severely punish those involved. When I use the term “severely punish,” I mean sentencing the criminals to very, very long prison stays without any opportunity for parole.

We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg when we see news reports like this. How many dogs are not as lucky as the dogs in this case, who finally made it out. We’re got to make the punishment so severe that criminals will not want to take the chance.
As it stands now, an arrest for dog fighting is a minor inconvenience for the criminal. When will our elected officials nationwide learn this lesson? When will our elected officials decide to end this and so many other crimes involving violence against innocent people and animals?

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