August 12, 2015

Federal Agency Prioritizes Tougher Sentences for Animal Fighters

In June we asked you to tell the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) to get tough on dog fighting by committing to stronger sentencing guidelines for convicted animal fighters—and the agency listened. On Friday, August 7, the USSC voted unanimously to examine the sentencing guidelines for animal fighting in the coming year and propose amendments based on changes in the law and the evolving nature of the crime.

The USSC is the independent federal agency that constructs sentencing guidelines as a reference for federal judges. Its guidelines currently classify animal fighting as a gambling crime. Anyone who has seen footage of a fight or an animal fighting raid knows that the real harm of these crimes has nothing to do with placing bets. We thank the USSC for working to make the punishment fit the crime.

If you missed the chance to contact the USSC during the open comment period, please take a moment to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade so you don’t miss future opportunities to lobby for animals!