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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 29, 2021 09:53 AM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay and Rep. Nick Pisciottano
To: All House members
Subject: Animal Fighting Funds
Pennsylvania takes animal fighting seriously, the Commonwealth has had one of the toughest animal fighting laws in the country for decades now. However, a recent report of animal cruelty charges reveals only 12 prosecutions were even attempted in 2020 and 2019.
Organized animal fighting at the highest levels is driven by illegal gaming with purses running into the millions and millions more earned through breeding, training and equipment. These perpetrators are well-funded, smart, and able to use the internet and coded language to hide fight locations, training facilities, and illegal transactions. 
Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws are enforced primarily by nonprofit humane society police officers and rarely is there more than one operating in a county. Local law enforcement is similarly overburdened in many places and lacks the funding to undertake a deep and detailed investigation into these rings despite the expert support offered by national animal welfare organizations.   
Pennsylvania gaming law provides for a $2 million annual transfer to a fund to provide law enforcement grants to combat unlawful gaming. This legislation will expressly permit this funding be applied to combat any violation of our animal fighting law. The legislation does not mandate that grants to combat animal fighting be approved, but it allows our law enforcement agencies the opportunity to access this funding to combat animal fighting if it is happening in their community.

Please join me in the fight to eradicate animal fighting in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HB2328