On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade Commission unanimously voted to double county penalties for another form of dog fighting called "trunking."
"This is a horrendous practice that takes dog fighting to new depths of cruelty, and we need to do whatever we can to put a stop to it by punishing perpetrators to the fullest extent possible."
Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states. In Miami-Dade the crime is prosecuted as a third degree felony which also includes county fines.
"Trunking" brings new lows to dog fighting - even among the most despicable culprits. Dogs trained to fight are locked in the trunks of cars, the music is turned up, and the owner drives around for 10 to 15 minutes while the dogs fight it out in the trunk of the car. The loser is thrown out of the trunk, and the cycle begins again.
In May, a good Samaritan called authorities and reported a dog owner kept throwing dogs into the trunk of his car. Authorities investigated the 117th Ave. and 220 St. residence in the Goulds section of Miami and seized five adult dogs and four puppies living in deplorable conditions with no food or water.
On Tuesday, Damian Labon, 32, the owner of the dogs, was charged with ten counts of animal cruelty for "trunking" and other charges. His bond was set at $15,000.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offers up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. Call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787).
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