Prosecutors Guide For Dogfighting - Animal Law Source

Prosecutors Guide For Dogfighting

Prosecutors Guide For Dogfighting

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Why Prosecute Dogfighting?

Dogfighting can be a “gateway crime”

Dogfighting destabilizes communities

What makes dogfighting prosecutions difficult?

Dogfighting cases frequently involve multiple defendants

Dogfighting raids usually involve multiple law enforcement units and result in multiple charges

Dogfighting actions involve living evidence.

Dogfighting actions often involve substantial asset seizures.

Dogfighters are often well-funded and well-informed about other prosecutions.

What options are available for housing animals seized in dogfighting cases pending trial?

Voluntary Surrender

Declaration of Animals as Abandoned

Declaration of Unfit Owner

Impound on Premises

Bonding Provisions

Destruction of fighting animals as contraband

Does successful prosecution require catching dogfighters in the act?

What charges are typically brought in dogfighting cases?

What additional charges can be filed in a dogfight case?

Animal Cruelty

Possession of Dogfighting Paraphernalia

Crimes against Property Larceny

Damage or Destruction

Use of dogs to attack, harm or interfere with Law Enforcement

Obstructing Governmental Administration

Dangerous/Vicious Dog Laws

Endangerment Laws

Professional Licensure Issues

Disposition of Dead Animals

Miscellaneous Local Laws

What evidence is most effective in building a case against dogfighters?

Care and condition of the dogs

Direct evidence of a fight operation

Presence of dogfighting paraphernalia

Other records

Contacts with other dogfighters

What obstacles to successful prosecution are commonly encountered?

Care and condition of the dogs

Direct evidence of fight operations

Presence of dogfighting paraphernalia

“Accidental” Presence at a Dogfight

Other common defense arguments

Controversy over ownership

Lack of evidence of current dogfight activity

What are the desired result s of a successful prosecution?

Penalties Incarceration and Fines

Forfeiture of Dogs


“No Animal” Orders

Where can you get help in prosecuting a dogfighting case?