Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–1006.01. Penalty for engaging in animal fighting.

(a) Any person who: (1) organizes, sponsors, conducts, stages, promotes, is employed at, collects an admission fee for, or bets or wagers any money or other valuable consideration on the outcome of an exhibition between two or more animals of fighting, baiting, or causing injury to each other; (2) any person who owns, trains, buys, sells, offers to buy or sell, steals, transports, or possesses any animal with the intent that it engage in any such exhibition; (3) any person who knowingly allows any animal used for such fighting or baiting to be kept, boarded, housed, or trained on, or transported in, any property owned or controlled by him; (4) any person who owns, manages, or operates any facility and knowingly allows that facility to be kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal; (5) any person who knowingly or recklessly permits any act described in this subsection, to be done on any premises under his or her ownership or control, or who aids or abets that act; or (6) any person who is knowingly present as a spectator at any such exhibition, is guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisonment not to exceed 5 years, or both. The court may also impose any penalties listed in § 22-1001(a).

(b) Repealed.

(c) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Animal” means a vertebrate other than a human, including, but not limited to, dogs and cocks.

(2) “Baiting” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass an animal with one or more animals for the purpose of training an animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, fights with or among other animals.

(3) “Fighting” means an organized event wherein there is a display of combat between 2 or more animals in which the fighting, killing, maiming, or injuring of an animal is a significant feature, or main purpose, of the event.


(June 25, 1892, 27 Stat. 61, ch. 135, § 6a; as added June 8, 2001, D.C. Law 13-303, § 3(a), 47 DCR 7307; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 109, 55 DCR 9186; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 210, 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 22-1015.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-1015.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-281, in subsec. (a), substituted “any animal; (5)” for “any animal; or (5)”, and substituted “that act; or (6) any person who is knowingly present as a spectator at any such exhibition, is guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000, imprisonment not to exceed 5 years, or both. The court may also impose any penalties listed in § 22-1001(a).” for “that act, is guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed 5 years, or both”; and repealed subsec. (b), which had read as follows: “(b) Any person who is knowingly present at any place or building where preparations are being made for an exhibition described in subsection (a) of this section, or who is knowingly present as a spectator at any such exhibition, or who knowingly or recklessly aids or abets another in such exhibition, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed 180 days, or both.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $25,000” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 210 of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.