Utica, NY (WIBX) - There's a new law on the books in New York State that calls for tougher penalties for those who attend dogfights or cockfights. Utica Mayor David Roefaro is reacting to the law he worked hard to put in place, saying, "The people who support dog fights are not good people. Many times, the enjoyment they find in watching animals suffer evolves into a need to see humans suffer. Law enforcement finally has some teeth to bite these criminals back with and I couldn't be prouder for working with the National Humane Society in supporting and fighting for this cause."

Roefaro says recent reports of abused animals like Apollo, shows him that the state could and should do more to protect pets. According to the Human Society of the United States, the new law stipulates that anyone who knowingly attends a dog or cock fight, will be charged with a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to three months in prison and a $500 fine. Also, a second offense will carry up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Congress is also considering the enactment of H.R. 2492, which would amend the federal animal fighting law to include spectators.

Currently, according to the national society, only 28 states charge spectators with a felony crime for attending an animal fight. To learn more about the new law or facts on animal fights, visit, www.hsus.org.