Victory: Conviction Upheld in Horrifying Dogfighting Case
The Supreme Court of Mississippi just ruled to uphold the conviction in a heartbreaking dogfighting case involving more than 50 dogs that was so severe it prompted an update to the state’s dogfighting law.
In 2017, the Adams County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about barking dogs that led to a three-day investigation and the seizure of more than 50 seriously injured and starving dogs.
Many of the dogs were on chains, while others roamed free; nine of them were in such poor condition they were euthanized.
Tommie Queen was ultimately arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty and possession of stolen property. In 2019, he was indicted on nine counts of dogfighting by a grand jury and sentenced to serve three, three-year consecutive terms in prison.
Damning evidence of a dogfighting ring was found on the property by investigators and presented in court by Adams County deputies, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigator Kyle Keld, and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigator Kyle Held and Dr. Robert L. Savant of the Natchez Veterinary Clinic which aided in the case. Doll Stanley, our Justice for Animals Campaign Director attended the two-day trial and presented more than 12,000 letters from supporters calling for justice for the victims in the case.
Queen appealed, but on September 30, 2021, the Supreme Court of Mississippi affirmed his conviction and he was taken into custody to serve the remainder of his sentence.
In response to the case, the late Sen. Bob Dearing introduced legislation (SB 2934) to increase penalties for dogfighting, making it punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, with repeat offenders facing up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It also made it a felony to manufacture, possess, buy and sell paraphernalia used in dogfighting. We championed this bill and helped it to pass.
The update went into effect in 2018, and while it wasn’t applied to this case, its supporters hope it sends a strong message that dogfighting is a serious crime and won’t be tolerated.
Dogs and cats also saw increased protections in 2020 with an upgrade to the Mississippi Dog and Cat Protection Law of 2011, so things are looking up for the animals of Mississippi.
For more on how you can help animal victims of cruelty, visit our Justice for Animals campaign.