Editorial: Sic coordinated effort on inhumane dogfight biz

By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
PUBLISHED: Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 12:02 am


The discovery in Valencia County of the mutilated bodies of four dogs suspected of having been used as bait to train fighting dogs is sickening.

They were dumped outside the Conejo Collection Station in Los Lunas. Two severely injured dogs were found wandering nearby; only one survived.

While it’s hard to know how widespread dogfights are in Valencia County or in New Mexico, Erik Tanner, director of Valencia County’s Animal Control Division, says he routinely gets reports of suspected dogfighting, as does Animal Protection of New Mexico. The group is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for these recent deaths.

Dogfighting has been a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico since 1981. In 2007 it was made a felony under federal law. Cockfighting was finally outlawed here in 2007.

Tanner says he believes the inhumane losers who promote dogfighting find friendly dogs, often online for free, to use as bait dogs to train their fighters.

Certainly sterilization could reduce the supply of unwanted animals in jeopardy of becoming dogfight bait. In the current legislative session, Animal Protection Voters is seeking continued state funding for spay and neuter programs in needy communities.

The cruelty shown to these dogs makes it clear that despite laws banning dogfighting, this cowardly activity continues in New Mexico. It’s even clearer that more vigorous enforcement of the law is needed to protect companion animals from organized intentional abuse.

But it will take more than one county animal control officer to put an end to this heinous crime. Law enforcement and the state should deploy coordinated resources to stop this barbaric use of helpless animals for monetary gain and immoral so-called sport.

New Mexico has enough entries on its national rap sheet, and dogfighting shouldn’t be among them.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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