If Mike Vick had just fought dogs in Georgia (allegedly), he’d be OK.

A few weeks ago I was listening to 680 The Fan as they discussed the allegations Falcons QB Michael Vick is involved in dog fighting. During the discussion Sen. Chip Rogers name came up. Rogers is attempting to strengthen Georgia’s anti-dog fighting laws but thus far the law has not been changed. I email Sen. Roger recently to ask him about Georgia’s dog fighting laws and if the Vick case had increased support for his proposal (SB 16). I received this reply:

It is true – Georgia has the most lenient laws in America for dog fighting. You essentially must be caught in the act. Currently there is not a single person in jail for dog fighting, yet it goes on every day in almost every city in this state. There is no law against breeding for dog fighting, selling for dog fighting, attending a dog fight, holding a dog fight, promoting a dog fight etc..

I have seen much more attention to this issue. However, the support has always been there. I have never met a person who would admit in public they were against my efforts to stop dog fighting. Of course, I have also never met a person who claims to be against securing our borders, and look where we are on that issue.

Here’s hoping Rogers’ bill passes both Houses next session.

For more on this issue, read this article in today’s Gwinnett Daily Post.

6 comments

  1. Mike-El says:

    “Of course, I have also never met a person who claims to be against securing our borders, and look where we are on that issue.”

    Is that a roundabout way of saying he wants to build a giant fence around Michael Vick’s house?

  2. Darth Mike says:

    Ok, first, let me say I hate any acts of animal cruelty. I am proud to say that when I served as an Assistant DA, I prosecuted a large dog fighting case in Houston County. I continued my crusade against animal cruelty as 1 of 2 Asst. D.A.’s in Chatham County which were assigned all animal cruelty cases in addition to my normal caseload.

    However, Sen. Rogers is showing ignorance of Georgia law and is dead wrong about no laws being on the books that address this behavior.

    Aggravated cruelty to animals includes seriously disfiguring a dog. Entering it into a dog fight would qualify for this from the injuries which are caused. Death to the animal from serious injuries qualifies as aggravated animal cruelty. Both of which are felonies. I have successfully prosecuted people under this statute. Below is the actual code section.

    OCGA (Official Code of Georgia) § 16-12-4. Cruelty to animals

    …(3) “Willful neglect” means the intentional withholding of food and water required by an animal to prevent starvation or dehydration.

    (b) A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals when he or she causes death or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering to any animal by an act, an omission, or willful neglect. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, that:

    (1) Any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be punished by imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, a fine not to exceed $5,000.00, or both; and

    (2) Any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection which results in the death of an animal shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than 12 months, a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, or both, which punishment shall not be suspended, probated, or withheld.

    (c) A person commits the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals when he or she knowingly and maliciously causes death or physical harm to an animal by rendering a part of such animal’s body useless or by seriously disfiguring such animal. A person convicted of the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine not to exceed $15,000.00, or both, provided that any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine not to exceed the amount provided by Code Section 17-10-8, or both.

  3. Darth Mike says:

    As for the good Senator’s comments “There is no law against breeding for dog fighting, selling for dog fighting, attending a dog fight, holding a dog fight, promoting a dog fight etc..”

    Again, dead wrong and some serious ignorance shown. We refer to the statute as the Party to the Crime. Basically, if you aid, abet, encourage, etc. another person to commit a crime, you are just as guilty as if you did the crime yourself. Statute is below.

    Breeding for dog fighting = aiding another person to commit a felony of agg. animal cruelty
    Selling for dog fighting = aiding another person to commit a felony of agg. animal cruelty
    Attending a dog fight = Encouragement of the dog fight
    Holding a dog fight = Aiding and abetting and encouraging
    Promoting a dog fight = Aiding and abetting and encouraging

    While I would support stronger laws, for him to make those comments is misleading at best, and dishonest at worst. Yes, no one is in jail for dog fighting. However, many people are in jail for Aggravated Animal Cruelty for fighting dogs. Semantics, maybe. But I see this as a cheap ploy to hop onto the publicity of ESPN’s coverage of the “Vick Incident”

    OCGA § 16-2-20. When a person is a party to a crime

    (a) Every person concerned in the commission of a crime is a party thereto and may be charged with and convicted of commission of the crime.

    (b) A person is concerned in the commission of a crime only if he:

    (1) Directly commits the crime;

    (2) Intentionally causes some other person to commit the crime under such circumstances that the other person is not guilty of any crime either in fact or because of legal incapacity;

    (3) Intentionally aids or abets in the commission of the crime; or

    (4) Intentionally advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to commit the crime.

  4. Darth Mike says:

    Sorry for the long posts, but the ignorance shown by the good Sen. Chip Rogers is absolutely amazing. I do not expect a politician to know every single law on the books. On the other hand, before you make a comment, you should make sure that comment is accurate and truthful. I included the laws so everyone can see for themselves how the Georgia law on this reads.

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