We have one overarching goal related to dogfighting: annihilate it, everywhere.
Step by step, we are moving against the barbaric practice. Earlier this week, Jennifer McDonald from Georgia, and Michael Martin, Robin Stinson and Sandy Brown, all from Alabama, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Coody to plead guilty to charges related to a four-year investigation of illegal dogfighting activities in the South – a case in which The HSUS played a central role. After a series of raids that started in late August last year, there were 15 people arrested and more than 450 dogs seized in what was the second biggest sting against dogfighting in U.S. history.
Since the original bust we fortified the federal law against animal fighting, making it a crime to attend or bring a child to an animal fight. President Barack Obama signed that measure into law in February. Just last week, we participated in yet another enforcement action against dogfighting — this latest one in Tennessee. We are training law enforcement around the country and offering rewards and tip lines to root out animal fighting wherever it occurs.
And we are moving against the activity on a global basis. This week, we got one step closer by making dogfighting an explicit crime in Costa Rica. The new legislation, sent to the president for her signature, prohibits the reproduction of material related to dogfighting training and the import, creation, purchase, and sale of dogfighting training equipment. Lawmakers at the national level voted unanimously to create a much stronger battery of laws criminalizing dogfighting.
We are seeing the first arrests in Costa Rica for dogfighting, and we have launched a tip line and a rewards program, to encourage arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.
Remarkably, dogfighting is not prohibited in more than 100 nations. It’s a goal of ours to eliminate the practice everywhere. It’s a long road ahead, but we know you’ll be with us every step of the way.
Learn more about our work in Costa Rica to stop dogfighting: