Tougher law on watching dog fights advances

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People convicted of attending animal fights would face stiffer criminal penalties under a bill approved by the Indiana Senate.

The Senate voted 38-10 in favor of the bill on Thursday, sending it to the House for consideration.

The bill makes attending animal fights a felony punishable by six months to three years in prison. Under current law, a first offense is a misdemeanor with a second offense considered a felony.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jim Arnold of LaPorte says those attending what he called barbaric fights between dogs and other animals deserved the tougher penalties.

Some senators said they were worried about subjecting first-time offenders of the law to a felony charge.

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