Bill aims to save fighting-ring dogs from euthanization

Dogs that have been seized from criminal dog fighting rings but show no signs of acting dangerously toward others may escape euthanization if a new bill is approved into state law.

If passed, the bill would mandate that dogs found at dog fighting sites are no longer automatically labeled as “vicious” animals and euthanized.

Instead, the bill proposes the canines undergo professional evaluation to determine if they are fit for rehabilitation and for adoption, if they are able to be placed in a sanctuary or if they should be put down, according to a news release.

Introduced by Assembly members Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, and Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego, earlier this month, the bill covers all canines found in connection to fighting rings, including dogs directly involved with fighting, breeding dogs, puppies and stolen pets, according to the release.

“These dogs weren’t born vicious,” Gordon said in a statement. “Criminals trained them to fight for entertainment and illegal gambling. This law would give these abused dogs a chance to live a peaceful life in a loving home.”

The bill would still label as vicious animals all dogs who have been previously determined to be dangerous or dogs that have injured or killed a person unprovoked.

California is one of the few remaining states where dogs found at fighting rings are automatically considered vicious animals, according to the release.

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