Posted on May 8, 2016
Your Voices Were Heard! Tougher Sentencing for Dog Fighting
Sweet victory! Your voices were heard! When I asked you to contact the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) in support of tougher sentencing for people involved in dog fighting you rose to the challenge!
Here is the outcome of your efforts. The USSC received 50,000 comments from the public pertaining to tougher sentencing guidelines. Never before has the Sentencing Commission received so many comments about a single issue.
Until now, prison sentences for convicted dog fighters have been only 6 months on average. Most offenders have received nothing more than probation. On April 15, the USSC voted to strengthen federal sentencing guidelines for animal fighting. The recommended time for incarceration was increased from 6-12 months to 21-27 months. This is a 250 percent increase in the minimum recommended sentence!
Now here’s the part I really love. The USSC issued forth a new sentencing range of 6-12 months in jail for anyone who brings a child to an animal fight. Last but not least, the Commission revised their guidelines to say that causing harm to a large number of animals and performing acts of extraordinary cruelty to animals are grounds for imposing even longer sentences.
Thanks to everyone who contacted the USSC on this issue. How richly rewarding it feels when we win one for the “good guys”- those precious animals with whom we share our time on this earth.
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
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com 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 www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.