Target: New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie
Goal: Increase penalties for dog fighting in New Jersey
In an effort to stop dog fighting in New Jersey, Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson and Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz recently sponsored legislation that will increase penalties for anyone involved in dog fighting. Not only is dog fighting unimaginably cruel and deplorable, it is often a front for large-scale organized crime. Passing this legislation could have a significant impact on animal welfare, breed discrimination, and crime in general.
If passed, bill A-2379 will make involvement in dog fighting a third-degree crime, punishable by imprisonment for three to five years and a fine up to $15,000. Organizing, supervising, financing and managing a dog fighting network will also become a second-degree crime, punishable by imprisonment for ten to fifteen years and a fine up to $150,000. The court will also have the right to seize any property or animals from those convicted and prohibit them from possessing animals again.
Dog fighting has become a serious problem across the nation. It can exist within small factions, where events might take place in the basement of a private home, or as a part of large-scale networks that encompass several states. In towns where dog fighting is prevalent, there is also a much higher occurrence of pet abduction. Fighting ring operators will often take dogs from the yards of residences and use them as bait dogs to train fighting dogs or to simply watch the fighting dogs kill them for entertainment.
It has also become common knowledge among investigators that where there is dog fighting there are also guns, drugs, and money. One is often used as a source of income for the other, so as dog fighting spreads so do other forms of organized crime. Increasing penalties for dog fighting would not only save the lives of thousands of dogs, it would also reduce crime in other areas.
Please sign the petition below to show your support for this bill. If every state eventually passes similar legislation, it could mean an end to dog fighting across the country.
Dear Governor Christie,
Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson and Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz recently sponsored bill A-2379, which would increase the penalties for involvement in dog fighting. This could be a landmark bill that would serve as a powerful incentive for other states to meet the standards of New Jersey.
As you know, dog fighting is a horrifying and deplorable activity. Not only does it destroy the lives of thousands of dogs each year and ruin many others by branding them with certain reputations, it also serves as a front for much larger forms of organized crimes such as drugs and gambling. Please pass this bill so that dogs throughout New Jersey, and hopefully the country, will no longer have to endure such horrific cruelty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ohsarahrose via Flickr