End Cockfighting Press Release

Statement on 14 men from Georgia, Florida and Alabama charged in major dogfighting event

78 fighting dogs rescued, indicating urgent need for federal law

Washington D.C. — Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy, applauds the U.S. Department of Justice in its indictments this week of 14 men from Georgia, Florida and Alabama for participating in dogfighting.

These arrests are the result of law enforcement personnel who disrupted a large-scale dog fighting event in April 2022, and found dozens of dogs on a property in Georgia, in crates and in cars. Authorities rescued 27 dogs then, and 51 more this week.

“We applaud the law enforcement officers who disrupted this criminal dogfighting ring,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, which is leading a national campaign against staged animal fighting. “State and federal agencies are increasingly treating dogfighting crimes with the seriousness they deserve.”

Mr. Pacelle added that this case is a reminder about the widespread nature of dogfighting, underscoring the need for additional law enforcement capacity to break up these organized crime networks. With strong bipartisan support in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, the FIGHT Act delivers that additional capacity, by banning on-line gambling on dogfights and cockfights; prohibiting shipping adult fighting roosters through the U.S. mail, strengthening forfeiture authority for fighting pits and properties used to conduct these cruel activities; and allowing private rights of action against dogfighters and cockfighters in the absences of federal law enforcement.

“Dogfighting and cockfighting are rampant across the nation, and we need even more resources and resolve to halt this barbarism against animals,” added Mr. Pacelle. “The FIGHT Act is immensely important if we are determined to eradicate staged animal fighting in our nation.”

More than 450 organizations and law enforcement agencies already endorse The FIGHT Act, including the Small and Rural Law Enforcement Executive Association, state sheriffs’ associations, the United Egg Producers, Rose Acre Farms, Hickman’s Family Farms in Arizona, Vital Farms in Texas, Texas Humane Legislation Network, and the American Gaming Association. Read more here.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter