597.5. (a) Any person who does any of the following is guilty of a felony and is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or by a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment:
(1) Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, with the intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog.
(2) For amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight with another dog, or causes any dogs to injure each other.
(3) Permits any act in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) to be done on any premises under his or her charge or control, or aids or abets that act.
(b) Any person who is knowingly present, as a spectator, at any place, building, or tenement where preparations are being made for an exhibition of the fighting of dogs, with the intent to be present at those preparations, or is knowingly present at that exhibition or at any other fighting or injuring as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), with the intent to be present at that exhibition, fighting, or injuring, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any of the following:
(1) The use of dogs in the management of livestock, as defined by Section 14205 of the Food and Agricultural Code, by the owner of the livestock or his or her employees or agents or other persons in lawful custody thereof.
(2) The use of dogs in hunting as permitted by the Fish and Game Code, including, but not limited to, Sections 3286, 3509, 3510, 4002, and 4756, and by the rules and regulations of the Fish and Game Commission.
(3) The training of dogs or the use of equipment in the training of dogs for any purpose not prohibited by law.
In Sacramento, California, a former veterinary technician who trained dogs to fight to the death was sentenced July 23, 1999, to seven years in prison. Prosecutors called it the nation’s longest animal cruelty sentence. Cesar Cerda, 26, who earned up to $5,000 a month from bettors who watched the animals fight in a bloodstained pit, pleaded no contest to 63 counts of animal cruelty, torture and other charges.
See also Dog Fighting.