According to Louisiana anti-cruelty to animals statute LA R.S. 14:102.5, dogfighting is illegal and is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment as well as the dogs in question being seized. Any equipment used for this so-called sport will also be seized. So dogfighting in Louisiana is illegal and has consequences for anyone taking part in it.
Who can be charged with illegal dogfighting? The answer to this question is simple. Anyone who intentionally causes any dog to fight another and/or injures another dog. This includes anyone who owns, possesses, keeps or trains dogs used for dogfighting. Also, anyone who allows dogfighting on their property can be charged as well as anyone who promotes, stages, advertises or is employed at a dogfight. Anyone who collects money for admission to a dogfight is breaking the law as well as the spectators, whether they pay admission or not.
Evidence to support the violation of dogfighting generally includes training equipment. This equipment may be a treadmill wheel, hot walker, cat mill, cat walker or a jenni. Any of these objects can and will be seized if dogfighting charges have been brought against the person using them or in possession of them. Other evidence to support dogfighting charges also include a machine or power propelled device used to allow an animal to be pursued by a dog being trained for dogfighting, along with the dog suspected. One last piece of evidence supporting dogfighting charges is possession or ownership of an injured dog. These injuries may include, but are not limited to injuries of the ears, scars, lacerations and bites as well as puncture wounds.
If a person or persons are found guilty of dogfighting, they will be fined one thousand dollars to twenty-five thousand dollars and/or sentenced to one year to ten years imprisonment. The only exception to this punishment would be a spectator who knowingly and willingly attends a dogfight. A spectator found guilty will be fined up to five hundred dollars and/or imprisoned up to six months.
After a person has been arrested for dogfighting, the arresting officer has the authority to seize any and all fighting dogs on the premises, whether the dogs were being fought or not. The arresting officer also has the authority to confiscate any property or equipment used in the dogfighting incident.
Any dog or dogs seized in connection with a dogfighting charge can be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian or qualified technician if the arresting officer so chooses without being civilly or criminally liable
due to the legislature’s findings that fighting dogs are deemed “dangerous, vicious and a threat to the health and safety of the public.” If the fighting dogs seized are not immediately euthanized, they will be placed in the care of licensed veterinarian or suitable custodian and the seizing officer posts a written notice stating the reasons for the seizure of the dog for the owner within twenty-four hours of the seizure. The seized dog will also be photographed and the seizing officer will prepare anaffidavit within fifteen days. During this fifteen days, any person responsible for the dog can post bond and pay for 30 days care for the dog. The bond can be renewed and the fee paid for another 30 days if needed. This bond keeps the courts from adopting the dog out while the owner is fighting the charges.
If the person is found guilty of dogfighting, any dog seized will remain in custody of the court and the court will dispose of them as the court sees fit. Thedefendant may be ordered to forfeit any bond plus pay any extra costs incurred by the dog during the time it is in custody. But, if the defendant is acquitted or not convicted of the crime, the seized dog will be returned to the rightful person and any funds due to be refunded will be paid.