Target: Governor Steve Bullock
Goal: Make dogfighting attendance a misdemeanor
Dogfighting is a felony in every US state except Montana, where legislators have also recently decided not to enact a law making dogfighting attendance a misdemeanor. After countless groups and individuals spoke in support of this desperately needed legislation, the bill was rejected.
Representative Steve King explained that dogfighting is not an issue because humans fight each other in a similar way (referring to boxing). The belief that dogfighting rings operate much like human boxing rings is a disturbing misconception, as boxers are not killed or mutilated, nor are they denied medical treatment for severe injuries. Comments like these display a blatant lack of knowledge and keep dogs in these horrific conditions. These legislators need to be told that they have no right to prolong animal suffering because of their own lack of education on the issue.
Dogfighting is a huge problem in rural areas, where these covert operations often go unnoticed. One community reported 70 dogs missing in 40 days, a clear indication that criminals are using pets to fuel dogfighting rings. The fact that attending dogfights is not even considered criminal makes the operations even more difficult to control.
The dogs used for these fights are living in unsanitary conditions with horrific lacerations while legislators shrug off this issue yet again. Demand that Montana legislators correct this thoughtless mistake and make dogfighting attendance a misdemeanor.
Dear Governor Bullock,
It has come to the attention of the nation that the people of Montana are pro-dogfighting, or at least are ambivalent to the pain and suffering that dogs endure when forced to partake in these activities. Not only is dogfighting not a felony, but legislators have exhibited a crass lack of judgement by ignoring a bill that would criminalize dogfighting attendance. This mistake can only be mended by reconsidering and passing the bill.
While Montana legislators may not be effected by pleas for the humane treatment of animals, it is still their responsibility to protect the human population as well. One study estimated that roughly 70% of those with animal abuse charges also committed a variety of other crimes like domestic battery, drug trafficking, and sex crimes. Individuals who partake in animal abuse are a danger to the entire community. Legislators often separate these individuals as if they are petty criminals deserving only a slap on the wrist. This misunderstanding puts the entire community in continuous danger.
Dogfighting attendees may take their children to these events, placing children on the same criminal path. There should be no place in America where an impressionable child is permitted to view graphic violence against such innocent creatures.
Montana legislators who helped to block this bill are obstructing justice. Please fix this obvious mistake by making dogfighting attendance a misdemeanor in your state.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mdk572 via Wikimedia Commons