Dog Fighting Statutes (Part 3)

by | May 17, 2018 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

The second statute regarding dog fighting that will take effect on August 1, 2018, is “2C:33-32 Leader, Financier of Dog Fighting Network; Penalties.” The statute reads as follows:

a. A person is a leader of a dog fighting network if he conspires with others in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully engage in dog fighting, as defined in section 1 of 2C:33-31, as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager of at least one other person. Leader of a dog fighting network is a crime of the second degree.

“Financier” means a person who, with the intent to derive a profit, provides money or credit or other thing of value in order to finance the operations of dog fighting.

b. (1) In addition to any other penalty imposed, the court shall order:

(a) the seizure and forfeiture of any dogs or other animals used for fighting or baiting, and may upon request of the prosecutor or on its own motion, order any person convicted of a violation under this section to forfeit possession of: (i) any other dogs or other animals in the person’s custody or possession; and (ii) any other property involved in or related to a violation of this; and

(b) restitution, concerning the dogs or other animals seized and forfeited pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, in the form of reimbursing any costs for all the animals’ food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care or treatment, or other costs, incurred by any person, agency, entity, or organization, including but not limited to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, a State or local governmental entity, or a kennel, shelter, pound, or other facility.

This section is modeled after other “Leader” statutes, namely, “Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network” and “Leader of a Firearms Trafficking Network”. A crucial distinction is that the dog fighting offense is a second-degree crime, punishable by up to ten years in prison. The other “Leader” crimes are first degrees punishable by sentences of 20 years to life in prison.