Legal Resource

Support Stronger Penalties for Animal Fighting

Help us put an end to animal fighting and create stronger laws for animals so criminals who use animals for fighting receive meaningful sentences. Although animal fighting is illegal in all 50 states, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working to make such crimes easier to prosecute and punishable by stronger penalties.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has drafted a recommended amendment to state laws that would enable prosecutors to charge those who organize, conduct, and profit from animal fights under the respective state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization statute. These laws (commonly known as RICO statutes) are designed to be weapons against crimes that are supported by organized criminal efforts. Like drug dealing, sex trafficking, and illegal gambling, animal fighting is just that sort of crime: animal fights happen when networks of people choose to organize criminal activity, in this case brutal spectacles of animal violence. Recognizing this by applying RICO statutes to animal fighting gives prosecutors increased capabilities to seek justice for animals abused and killed in the name of an illegal bloodsport.

Take action by writing to your state legislators today about enacting or enhancing your state’s RICO law. The Animal Legal Defense Fund can provide our model law that was enacted in Virginia and can also provide your legislators with a detailed legislative analysis of your state’s laws to provide customized solutions for your state.

Stop Animal Cruelty

Every day, animals are abused and killed. Their abusers frequently do not face any consequences – it’s still extremely common for animal cruelty to go unpunished. Without you, animals have no voice. Sign the petition.

Take Action


  • Congratulations to the 2019 Student Chapters of the Year!

    These awards celebrate chapters that have shown incredible efforts in advancing animal law and advocating for animals through original projects and initiatives. Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapters are a vital part of the growing animal law movement.
    November 19, 2019 News
  • 34 Horses in Limbo: Pre-Trial Forfeiture

    On an early August morning, 34 horses seized from a scene of severe neglect began their 107th day in state custody. Horse rescue volunteers had nursed the horses back to health, and ready to be adopted. But the horses needed one more thing...
    November 8, 2019 News
  • New York City Council Bans Sale of Foie Gras in Historic Vote

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund applauds Speaker Corey Johnson and the NYC Council for voting to end the sale of foie gras. Intro 1378, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, now moves to Mayor de Blasio, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
    October 30, 2019 News