House unanimously approves Mosbrucker’s bill to expand state law against animal blood fighting

The House of Representatives took action Friday on a bill that would expand existing state law against animal blood fighting to include stealing an animal for fighting, and possessing, transferring, manufacturing or engaging in activities relating to animal fighting paraphernalia.

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, authored the bill after she learned that many pet dogs in Central Washington are being stolen and used in sport-fighting events that involve gambling.

“There's a serious problem of underground dog fighting. Pets are being stolen from people's yards to be used as bait for fighter dogs. There's a lot of money involved in this type of gambling,” said Mosbrucker. “The violence doesn't just stop with animals. We know as many as 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters report their partners hurt or killed an animal.”

House Bill 1919 would elevate the class C felony of animal fighting to a class B felony when a person intentionally mutilates an animal that had been used in fighting events. It would also create the crime of second degree animal cruelty when an animal used in fighting is then abandoned, causing or putting the animal at risk of bodily harm.

“Constituents have told me they've driven by and seen animals that had been disposed of in local ditches,” she added. “We need to protect these animals and stop the fighting.”

The bill was approved by a vote of 94 – 0. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov