Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most states, the possession of dogs for the purpose of fighting is also a felony offense. Being a spectator at a dogfight is also illegal in all states. Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states and is a felony offense in 42 states and the District of Columbia. The possession of birds for fighting purposes is prohibited in 39 states and the District of Columbia, and being a spectator at a cockfighting event is illegal in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
- Animal Welfare Act of 1966: Prohibits certain animal fighting-related activities when they involve more than one state or interstate mail services
- Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007: Amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine and/or prison term of up to three years for violations of the AWA relating to: (1) sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture; (2) buying, selling, transporting, delivering, or receiving for purposes of transportation, in interstate or foreign commerce, any dog or other animal for participation in an animal fighting venture; and (3) using the mails or other instrumentality of interstate commerce to promote or further an animal fighting venture. Also amends the AWA to prohibit knowingly selling, buying, transporting, or delivering, in interstate or foreign commerce, a knife, a gaffe, or any other sharp instrument for attachment to the leg of a bird for use in an animal fighting venture.
- In 2014, the crucial elements of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act were signed into law as part of the Farm Bill. This provision makes attending an animal fight anywhere in the U.S. a federal offense, and imposes additional penalties for bringing a child under 16 to an animal fight.
- Dogfighting Tool Kit for Law Enforcement: Addressing Dogfighting in Your Community (COPS Office)
- Combating Dogfighting (ASPCApro online course)
- The Criminal, Underground World of Dogfighting (ASPCA)
- Cockfighting (ASPCA)
- Dogfighting (HSUS)
- Cockfighting and Related Crimes (HSUS)
- Animal Fighting - Related Articles (MSU Law's Animal Legal & Historical Center)
- A History of Dogfighting (NPR)