Target: Chief Judge W. Keith Watkins
Goal: Applaud the eight-year prison sentence of a man who has been called the “godfather” of a massive dog fighting ring
The head of a huge dog fighting ring has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in widespread and brutal animal cruelty against pit bulls. This is four times longer than infamous dog fighter Michael Vick spent in prison after he was sentenced in 2007. This latest ruling was for Donnie Anderson, who has been called the “godfather” of a dog fighting operation that involved nearly 500 pit bulls in 80 fights that he hosted, with an average of $100,000 bet on each fight. Anderson himself was responsible for “executing” the losing dogs. One dog that he murdered was hung by his collar until dead, according to an investigator with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
As horrifying as this case was, the severity of the sentence shows that the enforcers of U.S. law are beginning to take cases of animal cruelty seriously, even in the case of pit bulls, which have long faced unfair stereotyping and discrimination based on the fact that they are often used for dog fighting. In reality, with love and proper training, pit bulls are some of the gentlest animals around. They deserve our protection from cruel humans who abuse them and force them to fight one another.
By signing this petition, you’ll show your appreciation to the judge who handed down the eight-year sentence to Donnie Anderson. It’s important that we voice our support for rulings like this to encourage appropriate sentencing in the future. One or two years in prison is not enough for making so many innocent animals suffer. Help make sure that dog fighting operators are put away for a long time.
Dear Honorable Judge Watkins,
You recently sentenced Mr. Donnie Anderson, the head of a massive dog fighting operation that spanned both Mississippi and Alabama, to eight years in prison for his illegal activity and brutal cruelty to animals. I wanted to send you my sincerest thanks for handing down an appropriate punishment to a man who was responsible for 80 dog fighting events involving 500 dogs, many of whom were murdered by Anderson himself after they lost.
I understand that the eight-year sentence is significantly longer than is usually given to dog fighters. This is a huge step in the right direction, as shorter prison sentences clearly weren’t doing much to stop dog fighting from happening. With this sentence, you’ve sent a message to dog fighters and animal rights activists alike that you take this issue seriously and will severely punish anyone who is convicted of the crime. Hopefully, other judges around the country will follow your good example.
Thank you again for your part in protecting innocent animals from a life of terrible cruelty and death. Pit bulls are not vicious animals and in fact are as loving and loyal as any other dog breed, and they deserve our compassion. By showing that you will not tolerate dog fighting activities, you may have saved many of these sweet canines from being abused and murdered at the hands of heartless humans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ildar Sagdejev via Wikimedia Commons