Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick appeared before Congress to lobby for tougher anti-dogfighting legislation. Under the new legislation, those who knowingly attend animal fights and allow minors to attend would be punishable.
Vick, who served 18 months in prison on dogfighting charges, has been partnering with Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States, since being released from prison.
“Help us to reach out to these kids before they go down the wrong path,” Vick said.
Currently, it is illegal in 49 states to be a knowing spectator at an animal fight, while 28 impose felony-level penalties on those attending.
The bill would impose penalties of up to a year in prison and fines for attending an animal fight, and a penalty of up to three years in prison and fines for bringing or allowing a minor to attend.
The main sponsors of the legislation are Reps. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, and Tom Marino, R-Pa., with Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., co-chairman of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, among its co-sponsors.