Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and “Gateway Crime”

The Animal Protection Initiative targets those who engage in animal fighting rings. One example, dogfighting, is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. An animal fighting conviction in New York State can result in up to four years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

In addition, animal abuse can be a "gateway crime" that destabilizes communities. Many communities report growing involvement of juvenile and other offenders in dogfighting or animal abuse, often as a part of gang involvement. This has created an underground environment that often includes other criminal activities, such as illegal gambling, possession of illegal weapons and drugs. Raids on dogfighting rings often result in the arrest of many offenders with outstanding warrants.

The Initiative is comprised of Investigators and Assistant Attorneys General from across the entire state, including from our Regional Offices, the Consumer Frauds Bureau, the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, the Organized Crime Task Force and the Investigations Bureau, who will work to bring the perpetrators of these and other animal crimes to justice.