State Senate approves Mosbrucker’s bill against animal blood fighting

The Washington State Senate approved a measure today (Friday), 44-2, that would expand criminal actions under the law and increase penalties for those involved in animal blood fighting.

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, authored House Bill 1919 after she learned that many pet dogs are being stolen and used in sport-fighting events that involve gambling.

“Pets are coming up missing from people's yards throughout Washington and the bodies are later found disposed of in local ditches, many with their mouths taped shut,” said Mosbrucker. “It's a part of an underground dog fighting ring. Animals are being used as bait for fighter dogs and then abandoned to suffer and die.”

House Bill 1919 adds the theft of an animal with the intent to use it for fighting to the crime of animal fighting. It also increases the penalty for animal fighting from a Class C to a Class B felony when the person who commits the offense mutilates the animal. In addition, it expands the crime of animal cruelty to include those who've taken possession of an animal involved in fighting for the purpose of abandoning it.

“It's appalling that people would be involved in such an activity. Unfortunately, the abuse often begins with animals and then escalates to people,” said Mosbrucker. “As many as 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters report their partners hurt or killed an animal. We need to stop the abuse early and keep it from escalating.”

The measure first passed the House unanimously on March 1. Because it was amended in a Senate committee, the bill will be returned to the House for final consideration before going to the governor's desk for a signature.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov