- Valdosta, Ga. - May 24, 2012 -
It's well known, animal fighting is illegal in the U.S. But attending a fight is not.
Now that exception may be about to change due to legislation making its rounds in Washington to outlaw even being a spectator at an animal fight.
It's big news in Southeastern states including Florida and Georgia which are known to have a high concentration of dog fighting. Folks we talked to at Lowndes County Animal Wellfare agree with the bill.
"Spectating in any animal fighting should be outlawed. We believe that anyone who is supporting animal cruelty in that fashion should be prosecuted," said Director of Lowndes Animal Wellfare Linda Patelski.
If the bill passes, just being at an animal fight will be a felony.
The penalty.. up to a year in jail. But the law will even make it illegal to take a minor to a fight. The punishment for that, up to three years in jail.
"These people don't really care for the animals. They just want them to basically bolster their own egos," Patelski said.
A Humane Society spokesman tells us that NFL star Michael Vick himself is supporting the legislation. He spent 21 months in jail for dog fighting. Vick says he was taken to dog fights when he was a child.
The Humane Society wants to remind you, anyone who provides information leading to an arrest for animal fighting could receive up to a $5,000 reward.