TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Ron Dancer is putting the brakes on an animal cruelty trend that involves locking up dogs in trunks of cars and having them fight to the death. His bill released by the Assembly Agriculture Committee yesterday bans ‘trunk fighting’ and makes it a third-degree animal cruelty offense.
“Pitting two animals against each other in a fight to the death for money is sickening enough. Now these criminals have gone mobile,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “They have taken their gambling rings on the road in order to avoid raids by law enforcement.”
Trunk fighting, which began as a fad in Florida, involves placing two dogs or other animals in the trunk of a car, and then aggravating them with loud music or other measures to provoke them to fight. Bettors wager on which animal will come out alive or the least injured. The fights often last until one of the animals is killed, while any animal that survives is likely to be used again in another fight.
“We have to send a clear message to these criminals that New Jersey has no tolerance for such depravity. They will face strict penalties if they are caught engaging in this reprehensible act,” said Dancer.
Dancer’s bill (A3231) criminalizes the conduct of trunk fighting, making offenses punishable by fines up to $15,000 and three to five years in prison.