Bill would make dogfight thefts a felony crime

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A proposal making its way through the Washington state legislature would make it a felony to steal an animal for use as bait in a dog fight.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that the classification would make such a theft, which now is often treated as a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, said she had heard recent reports of pets being stolen in her district for the purpose.

Mosbrucker said dog fighting itself is already a felony, but the bill would also make it a felony to sell or own equipment for training fighting dogs, and make it a crime to abandon an animal used in dog fighting allow it to die.