Example:Pam is having a party Saturday night which includes rounds of dog fighting. Andre arrives with his Grand Champion fighter and is waiting his turn in the ring, as the fights go on.
2007 Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (2007)The law took effect immediately. It provides felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities, including commerce in cockfighting weapons. It will make it much harder for criminals who engage in dogfighting and cockfighting to continue their operations. Each violation of the federal law may bring up to three years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine for perpetrators.
See slide #73, #74#76
Animal Fighting - New York and Beyond
Animal Law CRJS 230Hudson Valley Community College Valerie A. Lang, J.D., M.L.S.
Stolen from New HavenAnimal Shelter January 2007
NEW YORK:The term, “Animal Fighting”shall mean any fight between dogs or any other animals.
$$$$$$$$$$$$• Dog fighting generates many millions of dollars in unreported income every year.
Formal AgreementIn dog fighting, a formal agreement is usually signed by the owners of the dogs to be matched, often several months in advance of the fight date.
Informal Side BetsThe second and most visible form of gambling at a dogfight involves informal side bets among individual spectators.
Promoters of animal fights usually reap large sums of money from concession sales, such as alcoholicbeverages, admissions fees, and sale of paraphernalia.
$$$$$$$$$$$$Another way those involved in animal fighting ventures make money is by selling animals and breeding services. Champion fighting dog - $10,000+ Stud fees - $1,000+ Puppies - $150-$1,500+
Breeds Criminal Activity• Organized Crime• Drug Trafficking/Narcotics• Money Laundering• Gambling• Child Endangerment• Weapons• Gang Bangers• Rape/Homicide
Pitbull Problem Flash Video the pit bull problem (what is man without the beasts?) - flash
• New York’s animal cruelty law includes – felony charges or – misdemeanor charges depending on the activity. – Agriculture and Markets Law, Article 26, Section 351
Any person who engages in any of the following conduct is guilty of a felony:(a) For amusement or gain, causes any animal to engage in fighting Example: Danielle and Ashley are walking down the streets of Troy with Danielle’s pit bull dog named Blue. Another pit bull is walking down the street in their direction. Danielle looks at Ashley and says, “Let’s see what they can do.” Ashley agrees. The fight commences.
Any person who engages in any of the following conduct is guilty of a felony:(b)Trains, (c) breeds or sells any animal under circumstances evincing an intent that such animal engage in fighting
Any person who engages in any of the following conduct is guilty of a felony:(d) Permits these acts (causes a fight, trains, breeds, or sells) to occur on premises under his control Example: Audrey organizes a cock fight at her party Saturday afternoon. None of the animals in the fight are hers, but she arranged the event.
FELONY(e) Owns orpossesses anyanimal trained toengage in fightingon premises wherefighting is beingconducted undercircumstancesevincing an intentthat such animalengage in fighting.
It is a misdemeanor to:• Own, possess or keep any animal under circumstances evincing an intent that such animal engage in fighting.
It is a misdemeanor in New York to:• Be a spectator at a fight. Punishable by up to three months in prison and a $500 fine. A second offense will carry up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
In the U.S., fighting dogs are almostexclusively American pit bull terriers.Pit bulls used forfighting are often keptin a “yard” onextremely heavychains. This is done tostrengthen neckmuscles as well askeep the dogs fromattacking each other.
How to find out of dog fighting is going on in your area• Check local newspapers and the Want Ad Digest for ads of “Game Bred” Pit Bulls.• Check the Internet.• Talk to Animal Control Officers.• Check with the local Town Clerk.• Check area airports to ascertain if pit bulls are being flown in or out.
Law Enforcement: Be suspicious ofreports regarding stolen dogs in your patrol area.
Due to the usually large group of suspects that may be present atillegal animal fighting exhibitions,and the specialized nature of these criminal activities, there are a number of common problems associated with enforcement of animal fighting laws.
Common Problems: Having enough law enforcement personnel on the scene to detain and arrest all suspects while ensuring officer safety and preserving evidence INTENT – responsibility of law enforcement on scene to gather evidence to establish intent THIS IS CRITICAL when you read Art. 26 Sec. 351
Search Warrants:• When executing a Search Warrant, do not allow the news media on the property.• Photograph the entire scene as well as each animal.• Seize all evidence used for training including; chains, collars, spring poles, weight scales, breaking sticks, drugs, magazines, trophies, computers, breeding records, carpet, components of any pits, guns, other weapons, etc.
Spring pole, breakingstick, treadmill, magazines, dru gs, alcohol
Suggested “On the Scene” Questions:Why are you here?How did you get here?How were you going to leave?Who did you come with?What did you see?How long before you were detained did you see it going on?
Retain copies• Keep a copy of all records of originals turned over to the police or ADA.• Keep a copy of all photographs.
Recommendations:Arrest only those persons whose proximity to and conduct at the location leave no reasonable doubt as to the reason for their presence there.
RecommendationsHave the officer’s report reflect, with respect to each arrestee, what he or she was doing when first observed, and where in relation to the fight scene it was being done.Videotape the scene (without comments unless they are very neutral) and those present immediately before arrests commence.
RecommendationsQuestion persons on the scene. Caution must be taken when questioning persons without first providing Miranda warnings. “General on-the-scene-questioning” - OK BUT “Actual arrest or restraint on freedom of the degree associated with formal arrest” - Statements made by questioned persons may be inadmissible in court!
Coordinate with Law Enforcement• Because of the specialized nature of the criminal activity, participant s are often scattered over a wide area involving multiple jurisdictions.
Think Outside the Box!Additional Charges Criminal mischief, arson, destruction of property Child endangerment Unlawful entry on property such as burglary or trespass Assault with a dangerous instrument Nuisance, noise, zoning, housing code violations Local dog control laws
April 25, 2007:• Virginia State Police and animal-control officers seize 66 dogs (53 pit bulls) and dog fighting evidence from property owned by Michael Vick. Dogs are distributed to six different animal control shelters throughout Virginia.
June 7, 2007:• U.S. attorneys office, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Virginia State Police present warrant and search Vicks property.
July 2, 2007:• Federal authorities file court documents alleging that a dog fighting venture had operated at the Vick property for the past five years. – The U.S. attorneys office files papers seeking federal government ownership of 53 pit bulls that were among the dogs seized from Vicks property.
July 6, 2007:• Federal authorities now on the case, evidence of dog fighting in the form of animal remains is discovered.
July 17, 2007:• Vick and three other men are indicted by a federal grand jury on dog fighting charges for activity over a six year period.
July 19, 2007:• Nike suspends the release of a new Vick footwear line, but allows current Vick products to remain for sale.•
July 24, 2007:• Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank holds a news conference and calls Vick’s behavior "horrific."
July 26, 2007:• Vick pleads not guilty in federal court in Richmond, VA.
July 27, 2007:Reebok, Upper Deck Trading Cards and Rawlings Sports Goods end relationship with Vick.• Entering month four of confinement for dogs.
July 30, 2007:• Co-defendant Tony Taylor pleads guilty to dog-fighting charges and agrees to cooperate with the prosecution.
July 30, 2007:• BAD RAP submits rescue proposal to federal prosecutor, requesting permission to evaluate dogs for placement potential.
Aug. 1, 2007:• Surry County Animal Control Officer James Smith about the Vick dogs, “They are in good shape,” he said. “They are not violent to humans.”
Aug. 17, 2007:• Vicks other two co-defendants, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips, plead guilty to dog fighting charges and admit to killing dogs "that did not perform well" by hanging and drowning.•
Aug. 20, 2007:• Vicks lawyer, Billy Martin, says that Vick agrees to plead guilty to dog fighting charges which could have resulted in prison sentences between 12 months and 5 years.• BAD RAP and the ASPCA agree to partner to evaluate the dogs.
Aug. 23, 2007:• Vick signs plea agreement in federal court and statement of facts admitting to conspiracy in a dog fighting ring and helping kill pit bulls.
Vick’s Plea of Guilty• He admitted to providing most of the financing for the operation and to participating directly in several dog fights in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. He admitted to sharing in the proceeds from these dog fights. He further admitted that he knew his colleagues killed several dogs who did not perform well. He admitted to being involved in the destruction of 6–8 dogs, by hanging or drowning. – He denied placing any side bets on the dogfights.
Aug. 28, 2007:• Entering month five of confinement for dogs. All groups begin a gag order to prevent news leaks or publicity that might compromise the legal proceedings.
September 2007:• Sept. 3, 2007: BAD RAP officers Tim Racer and Donna Reynolds and colleague Justin Phillips from SPCA Monterey County leave CA to join Vick dog evaluation team in VA. Evaluations commence on Sept 4-6.• Sept. 9, 2007: BAD RAP submits evaluation results and recommendations for disposition of individual dogs to foster care homes and to sanctuary care.• Sept. 25, 2007: Entering month six of confinement for dogs.
Oct. 1, 2007:• Motion filed in Virginia U. S. District Court to move all but one dog to foster families or sanctuaries. Report reveal that only one dog displayed aggression towards humans and numerous dogs presented "no threat to other animals.”
Oct. 16, 2007:• Professor and animal law expert Rebecca Huss of Valparaiso University School of Law named guardian of dogs in Vick case.
Oct. 17-20, 2007:• BAD RAP officer Tim Racer returns to VA to accompany Guardian/Special Master Rebecca Huss in conducting Round Two of dog evaluations. – BAD RAP works with Huss to arrange interim foster care of 16 foster/observation status dogs so they can receive relief from shelter confinement.
October 2007 Oct. 21, 2007: Three dogs quietly leave the shelters witheast coast rescue groups. BAD RAP representatives begincross-country road trip to bring 13 dogs to new lives with three different organizations on the west coast.
Nov. 6, 2007:BAD RAP representative Nicole Rattay relocates to VA to beginsix weeks of daily exercise and care for the dogs still remaining in shelter. Nicoles daily updates and observations of sheltereddogs offer invaluable insights that allow Special Master Huss to create placement matches with approved rescue organizations.
Nov. 12, 2007:• Deadline closes for rescues to submit applications.
Nov 20, 2007:• U. S. District Court orders Michael Vick to pay $928,073.00 as "restitution" for expenses incurred in caring for "the victim pit bulls."
Dec. 3, 2007: Special Master Guardian Rebecca Huss submitsrecommendations for disposition of Vick dogs to JudgeHudson in Special Master Report Eight groups named to be permanent caretakers of Vick dogs.
December 10, 2007Vick appeared in U.S. District Court inRichmond for sentencing. JudgeHudson said he was "convinced that itwas not a momentary lack ofjudgment" on Vicks part, and thatVick was a "full partner" in the dogfighting ring, and he was sentenced toserve 23 months in federal prison.Hudson noted that, despite Vicksclaims that he accepted responsibilityfor his actions, his failure to cooperatefully with federal officials, coupledwith a failed drug test and a failedpolygraph, showed that Vick had notaccepted full responsibility for"promoting, funding and facilitatingthis cruel and inhumane sportingactivity". Vick was assigned to UnitedStates Penitentiary, Leavenworth, afederal prison facility in Leavenworth,Kansas to serve his sentence.
Federal Law Vick was in prison for violating…7 USCS § 2156 (AWA)§ 2156. Animal fighting venture prohibition(a) Sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture.(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawfulfor any person to knowingly sponsor or exhibit an animal in an animalfighting venture, if any animal in the venture was moved in interstateor foreign commerce.(b) Buying, selling, delivering, or transporting animals for participation in animal fightingventure. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, buy, transport, deliver,or receive for purposes of transportation, in interstate or foreign commerce, anydog or other animal for purposes of having the dog or other animal participate in an animal fighting venture.
Original charges: • (1) Conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities (conspiracy to engage in racketeering) and (2) Conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture • Plea: single conspiracy count for running a brutal interstate dogfighting ring with three co-conspirators
State Criminal Prosecution• Separate Virginia charges against all four men were placed following indictments by the Surry County grand jury when it met on September 25, 2007.• Vick was charged with two class 6 felonies, which carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for each charge.
State trial and sentencing• In late November 2008, Vick was transported to Virginia to face state charges.• He submitted a guilty plea to a single Virginia felony charge for dog fighting, receiving a 3 year prison sentence, imposition of which was suspended upon condition of good behavior, and a $2500 fine.• In return for the plea agreement, the other charge was dropped. Vick, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) ID# 33765-183, was released on July 20, 2009.
Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (2007)• It should make it much harder for criminals who engage in dog fighting and cockfighting to continue their operations.• Each violation of the federal law may bring up to three years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.• Signed into law by President George W. Bush, the law took effect immediately (May 3, 2007), but Vick escaped the imposition of even more felony penalties because the animal fighting allegations against him preceded the new federal law.
NEW YORK:• The term, “Animal Fighting” shall mean any fight between• A. Dogs or any other animals• B. Jen and Donna• C. Cats and dogs• D. Obama and Biden
Gambling• The most visible form of gambling at a dogfight involves• A. formal agreements made months in advance• B. Impromptu street fights for cash• C. informal side bets among individual spectators• D. Russian Roulette
Breeds of Criminal Activity Associated with Dog Fighting• A. Child Endangerment• B. Weapons & drugs• C. Rape/Homicide• D. All of the above
When Executing a Search Warrant• A. You can allow the news media on the property.• B. Photograph the entire scene as well as each animal.• C. Seize all evidence used for training including; chains, collars, spring poles, etc.• D. B and C
The Animal Fighting Law in NY is located in:• A. NYS Ag. & Mkts. Law Article 26 Section 353• B. NYS Ag. & Mkts. Law Article 26 Section 351• C. NYS Ag. & Mkts. Law Article 26-A• D. My back pack
It is a in NY felony to:• A. For amusement or gain, cause any animal to engage in fighting• B. Train, breed or sell any animal under circumstances evincing an intent that such animal engage in fighting• C. Permit these acts (cause a fight, trains, breeds, or sells) to occur on premises under his/her control• D. All of the above
Which is a felony in NY?• A. Be a spectator at a fight• B. Own, possess or keep any animal under circumstances evincing an intent that such animal engage in fighting• C. Own or possess any animal trained to engage in fighting on premises where fighting is being conducted under circumstances evincing an intent that such animal engage in fighting• D. B and C
Vick was in prison for violating:• A. Virginia’s animal fighting law• B. Sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture• C. The federal Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act• D. Virginia’s felony animal cruelty law
Vick served time for state animal fighting charges• A. No, the charges were dropped.• B. Vick served 18 months in Richmond, VA.• C. There were only federal charges.• D. Vick submitted a guilty plea to a single Virginia felony charge for dog fighting, receiving a 3 year prison sentence, imposition of which was suspended upon condition of good behavior, and a $2500 fine.
You can make a difference.• A. When you know the law• B. When you recognize the evidence• C. When you persist with police, respectfully• D. All of the above