Folks caught running a dog fight or cockfight may soon be charged with a felony. The Iowa House has sent a bill to the governor which increases the penalty for running animal fights and toughens the penalty for attending a cock or dog fight. Republican Representative George Eichhorn of Stratford says other states have stricter laws, and animal fights are becoming more common here. Eichhorn says Iowa doesn’t want to be a place where people come to for this kind of conduct, as he says cock and dog fights are a “spectacle” that draw other kinds of illegal acts. Republican Representative James Van Fossen of Davenport, a retired cop, says just before he retired, he was called to the scene of a dog fight.Van Fossen says seeing that and seeing some of the dead dogs in nearby dumpsters convinced him the penalty for organizing such a fight should be a felony. But Republican Representative Clel Baudler of Greenfield, a retired trooper, tried but failed to convince his colleagues that the penalties for dog and cock fighting shouldn’t be tougher than the penalties for domestic abuse. Baudler says he could not, “in good conscience, place the penalties for animal abusers higher than that of penalties for penalties of people who abuse humans.” Yet after his bid to weaken the penalties failed, Baudler decided to vote for the bill. Baudler says he hopes everyone tries to stop these “events” and “if this helps, so be it.” The bill passed the House without a dissenting vote. Governor Tom Vilsack’s expected to sign it into law.
You are here: / / Bill makes animal fighting a felony