Dog Fighting Operation Broken up in City with BSL

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dog Fighting Operation Broken up in City with BSL

A multi-state dog fighting ring has allegedly been broken up by the FBI in partnership with the ASPCA.

According to The Kansas City Star, only two men were arrested and charged in the ring, which spanned Kansas, Missouri and Texas.

Pete Davis Jr. and Melvin L. Robinson were charged with a federal complaint of transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture in interstate commerce.

The counts carry a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A farm in Missouri was used to fight the dogs, most of which are pit bulls, but the dogs were trained in Kansas City, Kans.

71 dogs were recovered and according to The Wichita Eagle, the dogs will be trained and socialized, if possible and given a second chance at a new life once the case is concluded.

The dogs were tied to treadmills, sometimes for hours at a time and with heavy weights on them to make them stronger.

We, as animal lovers, know that dog fighting is not a sport, as Barry Grissom, the U.S. attorney for Kansas said in a news conference yesterday.

It is pure and simple, sick and horrendous animal cruelty.

There are some important lessons we as animal lovers can learn from these tragic cases, though

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) does not work. My hometown is Kansas City, Kansas, where many of these dogs were kept. The entire county that encompasses the city is also home to one of the oldest and strictest BSL laws in the country. The only thing BSL does is separate good dogs from their families and keeps people like me, who count a pittie among her family, from moving back and paying taxes in my hometown.

Vigilance is key to breaking up dog fighting operations. If you do not think you could ever know or be friends with (or even love) someone who organizes or attends dog fights, think again. In these rings, people from all socioeconomic and educational backgrounds have been busted. A tip led the FBI into this investigation and tips could lead to others being broken up.

Penalties need to be stiffer. The fine sounds wonderful, but I believe the prison sentence needs to be longer and these people should automatically forfeit any personal or real property upon their conviction. Only if they stand the chance of losing everything, as these poor canine victims have, maybe they will think twice about the short term pay off.

Thank you, ASPCA and FBI for putting your resources into this investigation. It’s been reported that the people attending the fight in Texas at which one of the men was arrested scattered “like cockroaches when the lights come on.” Maybe a five year prison sentence will be enough to even keep these true human cockroaches from even attending a fight, which will break the chain of supply and demand.

Editor’s Note: Image by Flickr user Agusto Janiski Jr.

What do you think the penalty should be for dog fighting?