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Dear Lucas,

While animal fighting has been a felony for years, this brutal form of cruelty that pits animal against animal, often to the death, still occurs all over the country. You might assume that people convicted of animal fighting serve serious time behind bars, that’s not always the case.

The reality is that about half of those convicted in federal courts of animal fighting don’t do any time at all. Those who do get jail time are, on average, sentenced to only 6 months.

Federal law allows the crime to be punished with prison terms of up to five years, but, unbelievably, outdated sentencing guidelines suggest between 6-12 months for offenders—providing judges with inadequate sentencing recommendations that don’t reflect the severe violence and cruelty of this heinous violation of the human-animal bond.

If you agree that the punishment should fit the crime, we need you to speak up now .

What You Can Do

The U.S. Sentencing Commission will update its animal fighting sentencing guidelines in the next few months and is accepting public comments on the issue for a short window of time. But to make sure the new guidelines are specific and strong, the Commission needs to hear from animal advocates like you!

This is our chance to make sure people who force animals to fight are punished to the fullest extent of the law, so please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center right now to leave a comment urging the U.S. Sentencing Commission to get tough on animal fighting.

Thank you for being a voice for victims of animal fighting!

P.S. Please forward this email to friends and share our alert (aspca.org/gettough) on social media using the hashtag #GetTough.