Nation's 2nd biggest dog fighting case shines light on tough AL - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Nation's 2nd biggest dog fighting case shines light on tough AL laws

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One of the dogs rescued from the dog fighting ring (Source: ASPCA) One of the dogs rescued from the dog fighting ring (Source: ASPCA)
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

On a state level, Alabama's dog fighting and animal cruelty laws are some of the strongest in the country.

"I think we have great laws here" said Scott Hill, a Humane Officer with the Montgomery Humane Society.

"They're pretty stiff compared to other states. I do believe they can be stronger but you know the state is doing exactly why it's supposed to be doing" Hill said.

After Monday's announcement of one of the biggest crack downs on dog fighting in US history, Alabama's tough dog fighting statutes and penalties are in full view.

A first felony conviction for dog fighting, a class C felony, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

[ :DOCUMENT State animal cruelty laws by toughness (.pdf)]

The Humane Society of the United States of America ranked Alabama's dog fighting laws the third toughest in the country. The Humane Society listed New Jersey with the toughest dog fighting laws, followed by Louisiana as the only states ahead of Alabama.

New Jersey and Louisiana law provide for higher fines and the possibility of more time in prison for convictions on charges of dog fighting.

During the 2013 legislative session, the Alabama State Legislature approved new, harsher penalties for animal cruelty.

On its own, animal cruelty is a class A misdemeanor, which could lead to a year in prison and a $3,000 fine.

On the raid in four different states, Officer Hill said it's a great day for the safety of animals it shows that authorities are constantly on the lookout for that kind of activity.

Hill said, "It's a message saying if you're going to do this, if you're going to partake in this bloodsport, we're going to come for you, we're going to get you. It may be tomorrow, or next month, or next year, but we're going to come for you and we're going to get you, and we're not going to put up with it." 

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