(Benton County, MS) Benton County Sheriff Arnie McMullen says he couldn’t believe the savagery of what he saw as he and his officers moved in on a huge dog fight over the weekend, ”Had two dogs that were in bad shape, bloody, in a pen, a portable pen they put up."
He says the brutality made him sick.
It’s also struck a chord among animal lovers who saw the laws in some states just aren’t serious enough to provide a deterrent.
”When communities have lower penalties, that becomes a target state for people to attend these fights,” said Chris Schindler of the Humane Society.
And this fight drew people from all over the country to Mississippi, where dog fighting is a felony.
Problem is, it’s not a felony everywhere.
When it comes to dog fighting, there’s a patchwork of laws which vary from state to state.
For instance, even attending a dog fight is a felony in Mississippi but just a few yards away in Tennessee, it’s just a misdemeanor to attend.
That’s why the humane society supports a bill in congress to make it a federal offense to fight dogs or attend a fight.
Supporters say strong laws work .
”We have seen a decline in individuals and among some players who get out of dog fighting or decided to attend less of these events because of the penalties and because of law enforcement swift action” explained Schindler.
Sheriff McMullen says the entire country should take dog fighting as seriously as Mississippi does, ”Yes sir, big time support. It’s sad to see what goes on, the way they do these dogs and what they go through, it’s just sad."
He says what dog fighters do to their animals, is the very definition of criminal.