One of the most heinous forms of animal cruelty is dogfighting, where dogs often spend their lives chained or caged in isolation until they are thrown in a pit and literally forced to fight for their lives. Dogfighting in illegal in every state, yet there are still tens of thousands of dogs who are forced to train, fight and suffer every year.
On April 23, in honor of National Dogfighting Awareness Day, Nancy Perry, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Government Relations, moderated a special Facebook Live panel on this important topic with experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of the Inspector General, and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Environment and National Resources Division (ENRD), which is tasked with prosecuting federal animal fighting cases.
In attendance were Joe Poux, the Deputy Chief of the ENRD’s Environmental Crimes Section, Tim Ferguson, Assistant Section Chief of the FBI’s Violence Crime and Gang Section, and Ann Coffey, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations at the USDA. Plus, a very special canine guest appearance was made by McFly, a seven-year-old Bull Terrier who was rescued from a dogfighting case in Washington, D.C.
The discussion focused on the ways our federal agencies respond to dogfighting, the types of criminal penalties dogfighters receive and how advocates like you can get involved to finally put an end to this cruel practice.
The ASPCA thanks our law enforcement experts as well as those who tuned in online for joining this discussion. We also thank the DOJ, FBI and USDA for the important work that these agencies do every day to crack down on this cruel bloodsport.
Couldn’t join us live? Check out the entire discussion here.
Tim Ferguson (FBI), McFly and his pet parent, Mike Burgess, Ann Coffey (USDA), Joe Poux (DOJ/ENRD) with the ASPCA’s Nancy Perry