Mississippi Animal Advocates Celebrate Victory Against Dog Fighting
Winona, MS (March 28, 2018) - In Defense of Animals, the international animal protection organization that runs Hope Animal Sanctuary and the Justice for Animals Campaign in Carroll County, Mississippi, is celebrating a victory for animals with increased criminal penalties for dog fighting.
“We gladly welcome Mississippi’s increased penalties for dog fighting which will protect our communities and help deter future cruelty crimes,” offered Doll Stanley who leads In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign. “Senator Dearing deserves our thanks and respect for his fine character and steadfast commitment to ethical standards. We will ensure law enforcement is aware of the new legislation and continue to aid them in applying existing laws to get justice for animals in Mississippi.”
Highly publicized raids on dog-fighting rings in Adams, Rankin, Madison, and other Mississippi counties have outraged Mississippians and exposed a gap in the justice system. As a result, In Defense of Animals, Animal Advocacy Initiative of Mississippi and Mississippi Animal Rescue League have been working to support Senator Bob Dearing of District 37 in his quest to pass stronger laws for horrifically abused animals.
Despite the clear need for stronger laws, it has been a year on pins and needles for proponents of Senate Bill 2934, “the Dog Fighting bill.” The bill was finally passed on March 27, 2018, just three days before the end of the 2018 Legislative Session.
From July 1, 2018, anyone involved in any aspect of organizing a fight, or in any manner of keeping, training, transporting dogs, or holding or supplying paraphernalia for a dog-fight will be subject to a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and/or a one to five-year jail term. A second offense will carry a fine of $5,000 to $10,000, or a three to ten-year jail term. Convicted spectators will receive a fine of $500 to $5,000 and up to one year in jail.
“We are pleased to see increased second offense penalties as a step to justice for dogs who are fought,” said Justice for Animals campaigner Stanley.
Four animal protection bills were passed over this year and will be the focus for Mississippi animal advocates in 2019.
For more information, please visit www.idausa.org
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In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign is actively working with officials in communities, building a groundswell of support for establishing and amending city and county ordinances as part of its campaign to show state lawmakers that Mississippians will not tolerate animal cruelty and Hope Animal Sanctuary gives haven and care to abused animals, largely placing them with worthy guardians once they’re healed.
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 34-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare and habitats through education, campaigns and hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.