Animal fighting venture prohibition is defined in 7 U.S. Code 2156.
An ‘animal fighting venture’ means any event affecting interstate or foreign commerce that pits at least two animals against each other for sport, wagering or entertainment.
An individual will not be arrested for dog fighting if his/her dog gets into an altercation at the dog park. Dog fighting is an organized gambling and entertainment venture.
Some behaviors that can lead to dog fighting accusations and arrest are:
1. Encouraging a dog to fight.
2. Training a dog to fight.
3. Allowing a dog to fight in a controlled situation.
4. Keeping a dog trained to fight on property used for dog fighting.
Organized dog fighting is a felony in New York State. Dog fighting is also punishable by federal law if a dog is moved into other states to fight, resulting in a $5000 fine and a year in prison. New York State’s fines for dog fighting may reach $25,000 and can be punished by up to four years of incarceration.
Dog fighting laws also prohibit watching and betting on fights, training dogs to fight or knowingly causing a minor under the age of 16 to attend or participate in a dog fighting venture. It is a misdemeanor to own a dog or keep a dog with intent to participate in a dog fight. The misdemeanor charge can result in punishment of a year’s imprisonment.
Dog fighting is taken seriously by the State of New York. In all 50 states, dog fighting ventures are felonies. Charges of cruelty to animals, neglect or transporting the animals across state lines for purposes of fighting can lead to the grave situation of heavy fines and incarceration. Illegal gambling charges can also be be made to stick. Being a spectator alone can result in charges. Trainers and owners are not the only persons who can be arrested.
Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcon’s star quarterback, was convicted of participating in a well-organized dog fighting operation. Mr. Vick spent 21 months in prison and was subjected to house arrest when released. After Mr. Vick’s disgrace, communities across the nation have indicated a zero tolerance policy about dog fighting. Being arrested for dog fighting can now bring a serious stain upon your reputation and negative ramifications for your future. Dog fighting is considered an outrage by some community members and every charge that can be leveled will be thrown your way with hopes of sticking power. Prosecutors will push for maximum sentencing.
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Obtaining skilled legal advice is necessary immediately if you are charged with dog fighting. Our attorneys understand how to view a criminal case from many angles and will furnish you with the best possible outcome for your situation.
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