For Immediate Release
February 14, 2008
CONCORD, NH (Feb. 14, 2008) – Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte and The Humane Society of the United States have teamed up to combat animal fighting. At a joint press conference today, they announced that The Humane Society of the United States is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting.
"Animal fighting is a shockingly violent illegal activity that is often combined with other highly organized criminal conduct such as drug distribution, gambling and money laundering." Attorney General Ayotte said: "I am pleased to join The Humane Society of the United States in this national campaign to protect animals and our communities from this inexcusable crime."
Animal control authorities in Manchester report that street dog fighting is a rapidly growing problem in the Queen City. This is an impromptu, and usually bloody, contest between animals of amateur participants. The stakes are often nothing more than blood-sport bragging rights or a quick bet. "We had a pit once that was nothing but a plethora of fresh bites," said animal control officer Dennis Walsh. "The dog looked like hamburger. He was found tied out and abandoned in the mill yard."
"We are thrilled to have the support of Attorney General Ayotte on this important issue," said Joanne Bourbeau, director of The HSUS New England Regional Office. "Dog fighting destroys communities as well as animals. It's the last thing New Hampshire needs."
The HSUS has been actively involved with a statewide task force to combat illegal animal fighting since a professional-level fighting operation run by Christopher Devito was shut down in Newton, NH, in 2002. Forty-three pit bulls were seized, along with a wide array of dogfighting paraphernalia and $300,000 in cash.
After learning about the Michael Vick case, State Sen. Joe Kenney introduced S.B. 513, which would strengthen the state's animal fighting law. The bill would allow authorities to confiscate animals used in illegal fights as well as prohibit a person convicted of conducting illegal exhibitions of fighting animals from having custody or control over certain animals. The measure was passed Monday by the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee after a public hearing.
Animal Fighting Reward Program Instructions:
Animal Fighting Reward Program
C/O Ann Chynoweth
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization – backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, the HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty – On the Web at humanesociety.org.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301