Beth Shields

  • I hoped that this post was going to help the average citizen learn how to report animal cruelty. But the average layperson isn’t going to get anything out of this without an accompanying document that provides a summary in lay language.
    Further, while most people involved in law enforcement and animal rescue would be able to read this document, even for them, there are many terms that need further definition and elucidation based on how TX courts have interpreted many of these terms and definitions.

    Finally, and GLARINGLY ABSENT from the acts for which criminal charges can be brought in conjunction with dog fighting is any mention of providing or procuring animals to be used as bait in dog fighting. Cats, kittens, puppies, and small dogs are routinely stolen from families for use as bait animals; additionally, those associated with dog fighting scour the pages of websites and Facebook for animals being given away. They contact the owner’s of these animals (usually a litter of kittens or puppies) and get as many as possible under false pretenses (no one says that the animals will be used as bait in dog fighting).
    Unfortunately, this practice isn’t widely understood by the general public (which is a failure of the humane and anti-dog fighting groups); therefore, every day, people unknowingly allow their pets to become bait in dog fighting.
    Criminalizing the procurement of animals for dog fighting is an important step that needs to be taken as it will discourage associates of dog fighters from getting these animals and it will bring the issue into the public discourse so that the average citizen is more aware of the problem and how to prevent it.