County key in dog legislation

Published 11:51 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The good, caring people of Adams County are poised to help make a significant improvement in the state’s animal protection laws, based on feedback offered earlier this week.

Monday night’s town hall meeting focused on improving the state’s dogfighting laws was encouraging.

After last month’s awful case in which more than 50 pit bull dogs were found in an abused state in Adams County, the stark and ugly reality of dogfighting hit home for many in our community.

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This cruel blood sport goes on in many parts of the world, but unfortunately Mississippi’s laws aimed at thwarting the practice are so weak as to seemingly attract the perpetrators.

State Sen. Bob Dearing, long an advocate for the state’s four-legged, non-voting residents, has proposed a bill that would significantly increase penalties for those who are convicted of dogfighting.

Under Dearing’s bill convicted dogfighters could be slapped with fines of up to $1,000 and prison sentences of up to one year for each dog the dogfighter has.

The change to a penalty based on each animal seems fair.

The bigger the dogfighting operation, the larger the penalty the perpetrator faces.

Dearing suggests his bill already has bipartisan support from other areas around the state and that will be key to having the bill passed into law.

For not, the key is for the voices of Adams County’s animal lovers to be heard elsewhere through the state so other, like-minded state residents will put the issue on the front-burner of their own local legislators so the bill has a chance of passage.