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Armed with New Law, Coalition Cracks Down on Cockfighting

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, State Sen. Mark Manendo, Clark County District Attorney, Nevada Attorney General

State and local authorities and The Humane Society of the United States announced their collaboration to help rid Nevada of animal fighting under a new state law that makes cockfighting a first-offense felony. The new law was passed by the Nevada legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval this summer, and it went into effect on Oct. 1. Only 10 states do not have felony penalties for cockfighting.

At a press conference at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, officials also promoted The HSUS’s $5,000 animal fighting reward and tip line. They encouraged people to come forward to help put an end to the criminal industry. 

State Sen. Mark Manendo said, “With the new strengthened law to go after cockfighting, and The Humane Society of the United States’ reward and tip line, we can make real progress in making certain Nevada’s communities do not suffer the very real danger of animal fighting.” 

Clark County District Attorney Steven B. Wolfson said: “The humane treatment of animals is not just the right thing to do, it is the law. My office is committed to prosecuting those who participate in dogfighting and cockfighting activities."

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said: “Nevada is a beautiful state with proud traditions. I congratulate Senator Manendo for successfully passing a law to help assure that Nevada will not become a refuge for people who find it entertaining to watch animals try to kill each other. This activity is barbaric and has no place in our state.”

Holly Haley, Nevada state director for The HSUS, said: “First-offense felony laws are crucial because cockfighters seek out states with the weakest laws to carry out their crimes. Nevada will no longer be a safe haven for animal fighters, and we are proud to work with state authorities to stamp out this barbaric practice.”

The HSUS offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting or cockfighting. Anyone with information about illegal animal fighting in their area should call The HSUS’s animal fighting tip line at 877-TIP-HSUS and their information will be kept confidential.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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