In 2013, federal agents conducted raids on several high-stakes dog fighting operations across Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, leading to more than a dozen arrests - including that of the ringleader, Donnie Anderson, who was later sentenced to eight years in prison.
That may not sound like enough punishment for putting these dogs through the unimaginable, but Anderson's sentence is the longest ever handed down in a federal dog fighting case – and more than four times as long as the 23 months Michael Vick got in 2007. And the $2 million restitution is the largest for dog fighting in U.S. history.
Federal prosecutor Clark Morris said he hopes the stiff consequences for dog fighting will "send a message" discouraging others from the cruel practice.
"We are pleased to see the Department of Justice recognize the perverse and monstrous nature of dog fighting," ASPCA's Tim Rickey proclaimed in a statement, adding he is pleased to see the criminals will be held "responsible for the suffering and death they've inflicted on hundreds of dogs."