Cockfighting in Ohio
FUENTE: ABC 13 CHANNEL
23 / SEPTIEMBRE / 2009
Although it’s illegal here, cockfighting is only a misdemeanor in Ohio
Ohio is the only state in the Great Lakes that hasn’t made cockfighting a felony. Now, the Humane Society is working to change that.
When you think of the abused and abandoned animals the Humane Society protects, you probably think of dogs and cats. But they fight against all animal cruelty and they say cockgfighting is a magnet for other crimes.
There have been more than a half dozen cockfighting raids here in the state of Ohio in recent years. But those who work to fight animal cruelty say Ohio’s laws have no bite.
John Goodwin is with the Humane Society of the US. He says, “Cockfighting is an animal cruelty and a gambling crime and because it’s gambling, people look for the weakest penalties so that the return is greater than the penalty they pay. So they set up shop in places like Ohio.”
Some of the fights have big payouts. “If you’ve got 100 entries, you’ve got $10,000 in the pot, so someone will walk away with that.”
Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states, but Ohio is one of only a few states where the crime is a misdemeanor, not a felony. Investigators say the fights aren’t the only illegal activity connected to the cruelty.
John Dinon is the executive director of the Toledo area humane society. He says, “If there’s cockfighting, there are usually other things like drugs, weapons, gambling, and the voiceless victims are the animals.”
In a cockfight, specially bred birds are put in a pit to fight to the death. A blade called a long knife is attached to the rooster’s heel in a cockfight. It’s a steel weapon. The birds are often given drugs that give the birds high levels of aggression.
A bill has been introduced in the Ohio House to make cockfighting a felony. “I hope this issue not only raises awareness about the weak Ohio laws, but I hope it makes citizens outraged about the fact that Ohio is way behind the rest of the country in protecting animals.”