Increase penalties for those involved in acts of dog fighting.
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Under NRS 574.060 & NRS 574.070, in Nevada, being a spectator at a dog fight, as well as possessing dogs for fighting is a misdemeanor. The first offense for dogfighting is a category D felony.
These penalties are some of the most lax in the country. According to a recent ranking published by the HSUS, NV ranks at the bottom of the list when it comes to the severity of penalties, putting the state at 48 of 50. http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/animal_fighting/dogfighting_statelaws.pdf
The act of, and those leading up to dog fighting are heinous acts of abuse and cruelty against helpless victims. Like many other forms of animal cruelty, those involved pose a greater to society at large.
Countless studies have linked animal abuser to a variety of other violent and/or criminal activities such as narcotics and weapons trafficking, gang membership and illegal gambling.
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) tracked 153 individuals who were prosecuted by the agency for physical cruelty to animals were tracked from 1975 to 1986. At the end of the 20 years, 70% of the people who had committed violent crimes against animals also had criminal records for violent, property, drug or disorder. When compared to a “next-door neighbor” control group, people who abused animals were five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people, four times more likely to commit property crimes and three times more likely to have a record for drug or disorderly conduct offenses.
Regarding animal cruelty and family violence, an early study found that there was animal abuse in 88% of the families who were under state supervision for the physical abuse of their children (DeViney, Dickert & Lockwood, The care of pets within child abusing families. International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems, 1983)
Not only do those who engage in acts of animal cruelty commit unspeakable acts against helpless animals who cannot speak for themselves, the perpetrators rarely stop at animals, making an even stronger case for tougher laws against these individuals who threaten the peace and safety of those in our communities, two and four legged.
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