The Statehouse File
bill that would boost penalties for attending an animal fight passed the Senate
on Thursday, despite concern about increasing the number of felony crimes
Bill 11 now moves to the full House.
is time we take steps to end this heinous thing," said Sen. Jim Arnold,
Jim Arnold,D-LaPorte, who authored the bill. "This is long overdue in
bill would make attending an animal fight a Class D felony, punishable by up to
three years in prison.
attending an animal fight is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable up to
one year in jail. Sponsoring a fight or training an animal for fights is a
Class D felony.
there was opposition to the bill from some who worried about creating more
felony crimes and thus jail time for offenders. Sen. Richard Young,
Richard Young,D-Milltown, pointed out that if someone is arrested for
attending a fight now it's a Class A misdemeanor, but if they are arrested
again it gets escalated to a Class D felony automatically.
Sen. Lindel Hume
Lindel Hume, D-Princeton, also opposed the bill. Animal fighting "is a
horrible thing," Hume said. "But it concerns me that we're throwing
more people in jail. I think the way we deal with it is better now then it
would be if we made it a D felony."
closed the debate by saying that he was typically not of the "lock people
up and throw away the key" mentality.
he said, "Nobody happens to be at a dog fight. People go to a dog fight
because they want to see a dog kill another dog. We're giving people a choice,
stay away from this barbaric activity and then you won't lock yourself
went on to say that animals have no choice and that people are the guardians
who need to protect them.
11 passed 38-10 with Sens. Richard Bray, R-Martinsville, and Michael Young,
R-Indianapolis, not available to vote. It now moves to the House.
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