Ohio Supreme Court Law Library Hosts Talk about Dog Fighting
Known as “Ace Ventura” among his colleagues, retired Sergeant David Hunt of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, one of the country’s foremost experts on dog fighting, was a featured guest speaker today at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.
The Ohio Supreme Court Law Library hosted Hunt for American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.” Hunt said dog fighting became notorious when pro football player Michael Vick was convicted of running Bad Newz Kennels in 2007.
“It started dying off with the whole Michael Vick thing, but they are starting to pop up and again gain some popularity,” Hunt said.
Hunt said dog fighting is an industry in which money is the driving force behind the crime, and he linked animal cruelty to other serious crimes such as drug trafficking, gambling, and domestic violence.
“There’s definitely a correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence, child abuse and so on. It’s not just about animals, which I do love. If you are going to treat an animal like this, you are typically going to treat your loved one the same way as well,” Hunt said.
Currently in Ohio, animal cruelty is a misdemeanor offense, and Hunt said offenders typically receive probation for a first time conviction.
Vicki Deisner, state legislative director for the Midwest region of ASPCA, works to ensure the strongest possible protection for animals through legislation regulations and public policies. She said Ohio is one state that needs to enhance animal rights laws.
“This is the time right now when animal welfare is really moving forward. You are seeing a lot of federal legislation, but on a state-to-state basis you are seeing things really come through. People are becoming more aware,” said Deisner.
Hunt currently volunteers with the Capital Area Humane Society as a law enforcement specialist and gives talks nationwide on dog fighting. In 2011, he was honored as an ASPCA Public Service Award winner.
The Ohio Supreme Court Law Library is featuring an animal cruelty display that will be open for public viewing through May 24. Information on visiting the Moyer Judicial Center is available on the Supreme Court website. The Law Library is on the 11th Floor and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.