Dogfighting Measure Advances To House

Mar 6, 2014

A bill that would make it a felony to own dogs for the purpose of fighting them has emerged from a state House committee.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee gave their initial approval to House Bill 408 Wednesday. Rebecca Eaves with dog rescue organization The Arrow Fund says Kentucky is alone among the states in not treating the ownership of dogs bred for fighting a crime.

She attended the committee hearing with Frodo, a pit bull mix found duct taped and chained to a fence in Louisville last summer.

"It would be such a wonderful tool for investigators and law enforcement to be able to go on property [and if] they find dogs chained to a barrel, their teeth are filed, their ears are cut, there's a bite stick here, they could then charge them," Eaves says.

Currently, law enforcement can only press charges once a dog fight has taken place. The bill would enable officers to look for evidence that dog fighting is taking place.

Police dogs, guard dogs, and dogs involved in field trials would be exempt from the law, but some lawmakers say they may submit floor amendments to clarify that language in the bill.

The measure now moves to the full House for consideration.