Get Tough Against Dog Fighting

Photo Credit: Dougmccoh, :Pitbull terrierThe ASPCA has teamed up with The Dodo to call attention to the inadequate sentencing of those involved in dog fighting. As it currently stands, federal sentencing guidelines categorize animal fighting as merely a “gambling offense” associated with a prison sentence of six to twelve months. Those convicted of dog fighting are typically sentenced to a jail term of only six months, and approximately half of these offenders end up on probation and serve no jail time whatsoever. In my opinion, such sentencing is ridiculously lenient.

In April, the United States Sentencing Commission is scheduled to reevaluate their sentencing guidelines for criminals accused of dog fighting. They will be accepting public opinion on this matter until March 21.

What sort of sentencing do you feel those involved in the blood sport of dog fighting should receive? Please make your opinion heard by March 21. Simply fill out a simple form on the ASPCA website. Guided by our public opinion, let’s hope that the Sentencing Commission does the right thing.

Please let me know what you had to say to the Sentencing Commission and I will enter your name into a drawing for an ASPCA dog fighting advocacy kit containing all kinds of goodies for you and your dog. Thank you for helping to make a difference.

Best wishes,

Nancy Kay, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health.   There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at,, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Be Sociable, Share!

10 Comments on “Get Tough Against Dog Fighting

  1. It should be a felony to fight dogs.The NFL should have never let Michael Vick play football ever again.People that fight dogs ,also abuse children.Stand up for dogs & really punish those that abuse any animal.

  2. Plain and simple, it’s just wrong to allow the beings that are capable of helping a veteran with PTSD live a productive life, or preventing a diabetic from going into a coma, or helping our law enforcement catch predators, or helping our military perform their duties, to suffer bloodsport so that humans can gamble on them. Animal fighting, which usually uses pit bull type dogs, has also caused some local governments to label dogs that look like the dogs used in dog fights as “dangerous” based on their physical appearance. Dog fighting has caused mass hysteria over pit bull type dogs which has caused some governments to enact breed specific legislation which has caused people to lose their housing or prevented people from renting a home because of the look of the family dog. The shelters are full of pit bull looking dogs due to a variety of causes one of which is people losing their homes. Dog fighting is cruel entertainment. I support a minimum 5 year sentence for those involved in dog fighting along with mandatory education on the humane treatment of our animals.

  3. Dog fighting should always be a felony crime, punished by the full extent of the law. This awful, violent crime impacts animals and communities in such a horrific way. There needs to be stricter sentences to act as a deterrent to this sickening crime. Please update these guidelines and ensure appropriate sentencing!

  4. I asked them to take the lead and show the world the compassion Americans have for their animals by increasing the severity of fines and penalties for any involvement in animal fighting!

  5. I’d have liked to say “Be done unto as you do”…but what I wrote was: Animal fighting is animal abuse, on a very large scale. Michael Vick would hang his dogs, and electrocute them to death, because he is such a great role model. Animal abuse leads to human abuse and larger crimes (if there can be a larger crime than torturing an innocent being). Animal fighting should carry a minimum 10 year sentence, at least a year longer for each body found on the property. Additional 10 years if children are allowed at the fights.
    Anyone who attends should get a minimum 5 years, 10 years if they bring a child under 18.
    Animal abuse is rampant in our society, and must be stopped. If education is not working (it isn’t) then we need to teach by punishment. Anyone who enjoys torturing and killing animals is mentally ill and a danger to society. They MUST be locked away from decent people.
    And NO pig is heartless; they are also innocent victims, smarter and more sensitive than dogs. Please do not equate these gentle creatures with evil monsters :-)

  6. I commented regarding mental health evaluation and counseling in addition to stiffer sentencing so these folks don’t reoffend or escalate their violent behavior.

    Actually, I would like to do something to them personally, but one must remain civil when filling out forms.

  7. Dr Nancy,
    THANK YOU for as usual, your participation in things that matter in the dog community as for our society as a whole.
    I did go to the website and fill out the form and also commented about how it affects regular pet owners at times when pets are stolen or traded on such sites as Craigslist to be used as bait or training for those poor dogs who must fight and kill or be killed themselves.

  8. Dog fighting usually involves guns and drugs as well as abusing the dogs. This can create a very dangerous situation for any law enforcement responding to this situation. Numerous studies have shown that cruelty to animals can be a prelude to harming humans. People involved in dog fighting need to be taken off the streets and kept off the streets so they can no longer harm any more animals or people.

  9. Dogs are a gift from God to be our companions and make our lives better. The people who promote and engage in dog fighting are the animals here. Lock up these barbarians and throw away the key!

  10. It should be a FELONY to fight dogs and it should be ENFORCED to the fullest extent of the law. These heartless pigs just keep getting fatter and richer off the backs and blood of these helpless animals. Time for it to STOP!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *