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Dog Fighting

Dog Fighting:

  • is illegal in all 50 states
  • is a felony offense in all 50 states

Possession of dogs for fighting purposes:

  • is illegal in all 50 states. 
  • is a felony in 47 states. (It is a misdemeanor in New York, Texas, West Virginia.)

Being a spectator at a dogfight:

  • is illegal in 48 states. (It is legal in Hawaii and Montana).
  • is a felony in 27 states. (It is a misdemeanor in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.)

Interstate Transportation of dogs for fighting purposes:

  • prohibited in all 50 states by the federal Animal Welfare Act.



  • is illegal in all 50 states.
  • is a felony in 40 states. (It is a misdemeanor in Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.)

Possession of cocks for fighting:

  • is illegal in 37 states. (It is legal in Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah.)
  • is a felony in 32 states. (It is a misdemeanor in California, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia.)

Being a spectator at a cockfight:

  • is illegal in 42 states. (It is legal in Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, and Texas.)
  • It is a felony in 20 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. (It is a misdemeanor in the remaining 22 states.)

Possession of Implements:

  • is illegal in 16 states
  • is a felony in 8 states, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia. 
  • It is a misdemeanor in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.

Interstate transportation or export of birds for cockfighting purposes:

  • is a felony in all 50 states.

Internet Hunting

Internet hunting involves someone signing up on a website for the opportunity to kill an animal located at a remote location using internet technology. The website customer pays a fee and selects the type of animal he wishes to kill. Exotic animals are kept at game ranches, and when an animal is selected it is then lured to a penned in feeding station within range of a weapon mounted on a mechanized tripod. Using their computer mouse, the customer can aim and fire the rifle at close range when the animal approaches the food. If the shot misses, guides at the game ranch will finish the job. Trophy mounts are prepared at the ranch and then shipped to the customer.

  • Internet hunting is banned in 40 states.
  • It is allowed in Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Washington.)

Captive Hunting/Canned Hunts

Captive hunting or canned hunts are private trophy hunting ranches that offer paying customers an opportunity to hunt animals trapped within fenced enclosures. Most of the exotic and native animals come from breeders, animal dealers, zoos or circuses. Many of the animals have been hand raised and bottle fed, and have therefore lost their natural fear of humans. The HSUS estimates there are approximately 1,000 captive hunting operations in about 24 states; approximately 500 of these are in Texas.

  • Captive hunting is fully or partially banned in 20 states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming

California Legislation

Animal Cruelty

  • Is a felony offense in California, applicable to all animals. The felony can apply on the first conviction. The maximum fine is up to $20,000, with 1 to 3 years of jail time. Psychological counseling is mandatory.

Farm Animal Confinement - Proposition 2

  • Passed with support from 60% of voters. Goes into effect January 2015.
  • This measure ends the practice of confining veal calves, egg laying hens, and breeding pigs in crates and cages too small for the animals to be able to properly move.

California ranks 43rd in the United States on toughness of penalties for dog fighting. (New Jersey and Louisiana rank first and second places, with Nevada and Hawaii ranking last.)

California ranks 36th in the United States on toughness of penalties for cockfighting. (Florida and Michigan rank first and second places, with Alabama and Mississippi ranking last.)

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