Thursday, May 23 2013 5:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:38:18 GMT
The picture of a George County dog set on fire is disturbing. Authorities say the circumstances surrounding how fire consumed the dog are shocking. According to George County Sheriff Dean Howell, 20-year-oldMore >>
Socks, the dog reportedly burned this week by his owner, has died. That word comes from a George County Sheriff's deputy. Socks succumbed to injuries suffered after 20-year-old Brandon Pierce allegedly set his dog on fire Tuesday night. The suspect told deputies he torched the dog because he "wanted to help the dog go to heaven."More >>
Monday, May 13 2013 12:24 PM EDT2013-05-13 16:24:04 GMT
MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A weekend-long drug raid left 22 individuals behind bars, and more arrests to come. According to Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall, the drug raid is the result of severalMore >>
A weekend-long drug raid left 22 individuals behind bars, and more arrests to come.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:15 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:15:57 GMT
Part of the coast is being invaded this week by termites. Millions swarmed across Harrison County Wednesday night. Several WLOX viewers called our newsroom to tell us about it. One person called whileMore >>
Part of the coast is being invaded this week by termites. Millions swarmed across Harrison County Wednesday night.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:25 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:25:10 GMT
The search is on in north Picayune for two fugitive brothers wanted out of Tennessee. Jessy and Jeffrey Marchbanks were last seen leaving a mobile home on Pea Ridge Road in Picayune.More >>
Two fugitive brothers wanted out of Tennessee were captured around 6:30 Thursday morning according to Pearl River Sheriff's Department. According to Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison, Jessy and Jeffrey Marchbanks were caught at the corner of Ozona Richardson Road and Richardson Road just after sunrise. That's the same general area authorities had searched Wednesday and early Thursday morning.More >>
An 87-year-old grandmother took on billionaire Donald Trump. And on Thursday - she lost.More >>
An 87-year-old grandmother took on billionaire Donald Trump. And on Thursday, she lost.More >>
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
It's an underground, illegal activity across the nation and if you ask John Goodwin with the Humane Society of the United States, Mississippi is a magnet for it.
"This cruel blood sport is wide and pervasive in various nooks and crannies around the state," said Goodwin.
Goodwin says cockfighting is big business in Mississippi and for good reason. That's because he says Mississippi has the second weakest cockfighting law in the nation, just ahead of Alabama.
"There is a large cockfighting pit in Tippah County up near Ripley that attracts people from all over the country even though it's a felony to cross state lines for an animal fighting venture," said Goodwin.
While cockfighting is illegal in the state, getting busted is only a misdemeanor and the maximum fine is just $100. That law went into the books back in the 1800's and hasn't been adjusted for inflation, allowing the benefits to outweigh the consequences.
"As a result we have a lot of cockfighters who have come here to take advantage of the weak penalties," said Goodwin. "So, basically Mississippi is attracting crime by having a weak penalty for cockfighting."
Several bills at the state capitol are trying to change that. One would increase the maximum fine to $500 and another would make cockfighting a felony on the second offense. Mississippi is one of ten states without a felony provision. Senator Deborah Dawkins is behind the felony bill and says it's because current penalties aren't enough.
People who engage in these activities do not seem to be taking them seriously," said Dawkins, a democrat from Pass Christian.
Dawkins would like to see a felony after the first offense but says the change has to move slowly. By increasing penalties, Humane Society state director, Lydia Sattler says she hopes perceptions on animal cruelty will change.
"People think that just because it's a bird, that's it's not a dog or a cat, that it doesn't have to be treated humanely," said Sattler.
Lawmakers also want to work with neighboring states to make sure penalties are increased as well so the problem doesn't just move across state lines. Those cockfighting bills are awaiting committee approval.
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