The present State laws are merely a slap on the wrist for dogfighting organizers who collect tens of thousands of dollars per exhibition of dogs fighting to the death. This increased penalty, like that in Michigan, will remove the profitable factor for such sadistic but presently lucrative practices in the State of Oklahoma.
Please increase the penalties for dogfighting in the State of Oklahoma to prevent these loyal and trusting animals from being used to satisfy the sadistic organizers of these events with ego gratification and monetary gain. The present laws are a mere slap on the wrist when one considers that each fight to the death gruesome event nets the event organizers tens of thousands of dollars. We must increase the penalties for such crimes if we are to rid our State of these horrendously atrocious affronts to animal rights. Please make our penalties for such activity so severe that no one will again question whether or not the abuse of an animal in Oklahoma will merit the severity of the punishment. Thank you for your consideration in this very important issue in our State.
A very recent and urgent example:
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - A dogfighting arrest in Rogers County turned up graphic video evidence of fights to the death, officials said.
While serving a warrant for drugs, deputies in the THUG Task Force found graphic videos of dog fights on Garrett Bump's cell phone. There were also videos of bleeding dogs being stitched back up to fight another day.
It all happened at a home in the center of Claremore, with neighbors and small children right next door.
According to investigators, one of Bump's videos showed dogs fighting right in front of a baby bed. In others, you can hear a child talking or laughing before and during dog fights.
Deputies said Bump, 19, also had pictures of the dogs' injuries after a fight and even stitched up the neck of one dog in the home's bathtub.
"We've got a knucklehead proud to show the wounds his dog received and the agony this animal has been through," Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said.
One video shows Bump and Casilyn Morgan, 20, training puppies at an early age to one day be fighters, deputies said.
There are also videos of Bump in the backyard doing training exercises with a dog.
Investigators said dogfighters are a very secretive group so, it's fortunate to uncover so much video evidence.
Deputies also discovered the shallow grave of a dog named Tank. Tank was a dog Bump bragged on video about owning.
"So he has video of this dog who fought to the death, bled in the bathtub, all the things this dog had to endure before its death, a shallow grave in the backyard of this residence, all provided in the video," Walton said.
Deputies confiscated two dogs from the house as well as two puppies.
They're not sure yet what will happen to them.
Deputies arrested Bump and Morgan. Both face a long list of charges.
Investigators said no matter one's views on animals, this case leaves little room for doubt.
"I don't think anyone would argue these dogs were [not] abused and living in a very cruel environment," Walton said.
Dogfighting remains a huge problem in the United States, according to the Humane Society.
Their new policy for dogs seized from dogfighting operations is to have each one professionally evaluated to determine whether it would be suitable for adoption.
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