Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips were sentenced today to 18 and 21 months in prison on federal charges related to a dogfighting operation that they had been running in Virginia. We’re obviously very happy that these guys are going to be serving time for their crimes against animals, but the other key provision here is that they will not be allowed to “own” dogs for three years following their release from prison. If it were up to me, they would be banned from any contact with animals for life, but you take what you can get, and restrictions on “ownership” of animals are vitally important (and sadly, often overlooked) in any cruelty case, as repeat offenses are the norm. This provision was something that PETA had specifically asked for, and we know of no other federal case where defendants have been banned from owning animals. Purnell Peace was in tears at the sentencing and personally apologized to PETA and other animal groups for his role in these crimes—which, well, it’s nice to see some remorse, but we weren’t victims here, the dogs were, and there’s not much that an apology can do for them now. Let’s hope that this sentencing sets a strong example for any of the bastards who still think they can get away with torturing animals and forcing them to fight for amusement or profit.
Michael Vick is set to be sentenced on December 10.