Editorial: "Biting Back"

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Man's best friend, loyal hunting companion, comforter and protector, "little buddy" … all used to describe the love affair with people and their dogs.  All the more reason why the story that broke earlier this week about the 367 dogs seized in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi after being abused, starved and used as pawns in a sick blood sport made us sick.

Dogs bark, pant, howl and whimper … there is no voice.  No voice to cry out when their human owners torture them for profit and entertainment.  But, there is a law in Alabama that gives a voice and administers stiff consequences to those that don't value the life of another living creature.

The Humane Society of the United States of America ranked Alabama's dog fighting laws the third toughest in the country.  During the 2013 legislative session, the Alabama State Legislature approved new, harsher penalties for animal cruelty.  On its own, animal cruelty is a class A misdemeanor, which could lead to a year in prison and a $3,000 fine. A first felony conviction for dog fighting, a class C felony, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

We applaud the lawmakers, groups and organizations that made a case, a strong case, to put one of the nation's toughest laws with the stiffest penalties on the books here in Alabama to bite back against those individuals that would do harm to an animal.  Our hope is this law and this bust gets future dog fighting wannabee's attention and they do something more productive with their spare time.  If they choose to ignore the law, prison has a bed waiting with your name on it.

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