Dogfighting Still Thriving Years After Michael Vick Case
In spite of the attention and jail time Michael Vick received for his involvement in dog fighting, the practice still thrives.
[su_center_ad]…despite being banned in all 50 states and the momentum generated by the Vick case, the ancient blood sport is thriving in the underground, with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake on big matches, police detectives and prosecutors said.
State laws still require no minimum mandatory jail time, so while arrests and convictions can be disruptive to dogfighting rings for a short while, the practice continues to flourish.
“Unfortunately, in our courts today, animal welfare is not given the attention and seriousness that it deserves,” said Cyrus Zomorodian, the Jacksonville-based animal cruelty prosecutor who tried Coleman’s case. “We constantly fight for more court time, resources and attention.”
In 2013, after a three-year investigation that included local police and the FBI, more than 15 people were arrested, 367 dogs seized, $500,000 in cash, firearms and drugs were seized in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas. It was the second-largest dogfighting bust U.S. history, known as the “367 case.”
A few big federal busts like the 367 case that have occurred since Vick are rooting out some large fighting groups, the more investigators look for organized, professional level dogfighting, the more they’re finding.
“This is a much bigger problem than people realize. Law enforcement is learning that there’s an absurd amount of money involved,” said Officer Ivan Wick, a dogfighting investigator with the Milwaukee Police Department.[su_csky_ad]