The comments respond to an amendment proposed by the USSC in January to strengthen the federal sentencing guidelines for animal fighting by bringing them in line with the maximum prison sentence of five years prescribed by Congress in 2008.
Current sentencing guidelines do not reflect the maximum penalty allowed under federal law, which can discourage federal prosecutors from pursuing animal fighting charges that may yield sentences as paltry as six months in jail.
To raise awareness about the need for stronger sentences, the ASPCA released a video as part of their #GetTough campaign to help eradicate animal fighting. Featuring interviews with the public, the video reveals the surprise and disappointment of average Americans as they become aware of the terrible disparity between horrific animal crimes and their inadequate penalties.
Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Although illegal everywhere in the U.S., dog fighting still occurs in every part of the country and in every type of community.
For more information on the ASPCA’s #GetTough campaign and their work to end dog fighting, please visit http://www.aspca.org/GetTough.