Pa. has new tool to combat dog fighting

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Lower Allen Park is a favorite spot for many dog owners.

“I come at least once a week with my dog Mickey,” said Abigail Knaub of Lewisberry.

“I come every day with my two dogs in the morning, so I am quite a regular here,” Barbara Protas of Mechanicsburg said.

Dog lovers have mixed thoughts about Michael Vick stepping in as the starting quarterback for the Steelers, now that Ben Roethlisberger is out indefinitely with a sprained knee. The question is: will people be talking about his performance on the field or will he still be haunted by the old headlines of animal abuse?

“It is going to stick with him,” said Lee Stillwagon of Harrisburg. “Steelers Nation fans just didn’t like the owner’s decision to pick him up.”

“I think everyone deserves a second chance, as long as he stays out of the spotlight for bad reasons,” Protas said.

“If we can bring some attention back to animal fighting and make some more progress, I think that is a good thing,” said Charlie Hursh of Harrisburg.

The Humane Society of Harrisburg agrees.

“I think we need to use it as a positive opportunity to reeducate the public about dog fighting,” said Amy Kaunas, executive director of the Humane Society of Greater Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania recently closed a loophole in animal fighting related crimes. It is now illegal to have dog fighting paraphernalia in your possession.

“If you see people with an excessive amount of medical supplies like sutures and tape, there are treadmills they use for training, heavy bite sticks, and if you see dogs running with a lot of chains to build up their neck muscles, these are the kinds of things they will look for,” Kaunas said. “They are putting the squeeze on dog fighters, saying not here, not in our state.”

Act 24 went into effect last week.

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