New Jersey Voters: Support Tougher Dogfighting Legislation! S539
New Jersey is considering S539, a state law that would strengthen the penalties associated with the crime of dogfighting and enable prosecutors to charge dogfighting ringleaders under New Jersey’s RICO (“Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations”) statute. RICO—a powerful tool to combat organized criminal operations—has historically been used to address a wide variety of organized criminal efforts, including drug dealing, gambling, and trading in child pornography.
While dogfighting is already illegal in 50 states and under federal law, the ability to bring a state RICO case would provide specific advantages to New Jersey prosecutors who are overseeing dogfighting investigations. Given the option to utilize RICO in a dogfighting operation, law enforcement authorities would have increased abilities in seeking justice for the animals abused. ALDF strongly supports this legislative tool, and encourages New Jersey voters to contact their legislators and let them know that as voting constituents they are concerned about the issue of dogfighting and want to see S539 considered in earnest.
New Jersey residents are encouraged to contact Senator Nicholas Scutari, who currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, to request that he recognize the importance of S539 and make it a priority. Senators Thomas Kean Jr. and Jeff Van Drew are the bill’s main sponsors and are to be commended for their efforts to bring dogfighters to justice in New Jersey.
Send an email to Senator Scutari by completing the form to the right. Hand-written letters may be sent to:
The Honorable Nicholas P. Scutari
1514 E. Saint Georges Ave.
Linden, NJ 07036