Increases penalties for dog fighting and attending a dog fighting exhibition.
Bill No. HB 916
Summary: This bill strengthens the punishment for dog fighting by increasing the penalties for dog fighting and attending dog fighting exhibitions. It increases the penalty for causing one dog to fight with another from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony and increases the penalty for attending a dog fighting exhibition from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.
Dog fighting has been illegal in Texas for many years. Despite that fact, illegal dog fighting exhibitions are on the rise because apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators is extremely difficult under our existing statute, and the penalties when prosecution is successful are too light to be a deterrent. Dog fighting is not only a cruel and barbaric activity in and of itself, but it is almost always accompanied by other illegal activities such as gambling, money laundering, drugs, fire arms, alcohol and gang fights. Tragically, young people are most always present and witness the violence of dog fighting and the related activities. Also, many family pets are stolen as “training bait” for fighting dogs.