Perhaps the silver lining in Mike Vick’s arrest will be tougher anti-dogfighting laws.
Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, who has pushed an anti-dogfighting bill in the Senate during the last two sessions, said the Vick case has brought into the public eye a problem that, unfortunately, is widespread.
“The fighting and maiming of dogs that allegedly occurred on Michael Vick’s property in Virginia can also be found all across metro Atlanta on a weekly basis,” Rogers said. “Sadly, Georgia remains one of the last states … where those persons intimately involved in this dangerous activity can go unpunished.”
Georgia is one of only two states where dogfighting is a misdemeanor.
Rogers’ bill would upgrade the crime to a felony and cast a wider net. Rather than being limited to owners of fighting dogs, the legislation would also apply to trainers and to those who host, promote or attend dog fights.
“It’s like drugs,” said Rep. Bobby Reese, R-Sugar Hill, who introduced a similar bill in the House this year. “You can get the drug dealers, but you’ve got to charge the users, too.”
The Senate passed Rogers’ bill unanimously last March but it wasn’t taken up by the House.
Reese’s bill passed the House Judiciary Committee but didn’t reach the floor for a vote.