Eleven dog advocacy groups, including animal rescue organizations and the National American Pit Bull Terrier Association, have asked U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson to sentence Michael Vick to four years and nine months in prison.
They have also asked Vick to pay more than $10 million to evaluate and rehabilitate all of the pit bulls that were involved in his dog fighting operation. The motion offers the name of a dog trainer and said his rehabilitation work â€œcan take as little as six months but as long as two years.â€
In addition, the groups want Hudson to seize Vick’s property and force him to pay $500,000 to transform it into a no-kill shelter for abused and neglected dogs.
The advocacy groups also asked that Vick be fined $250,000 â€“ the maximum allowed for his charge â€“ to support a public education campaign against dog fighting.
The 31-page argument was filed on Monday by the dog advocacy groups. The organizations hope to sway the judge when Vick is sentenced on December 10.
Judge Hudson has allowed the group to file their motion, but they will not be allowed to speak or participate during the sentencing.
The group has filed its motion as a â€œfriend of the court,â€ meaning it has an interest in the case but is not a party to it.
Attorneys helping the dog advocacy groups said they hope this motion helps save the dogs more than anything else. The push for action from the groups came after Vick’s apology. They felt that he wasn’t sincere and contrite in his public statement.
The dog advocacy groups said that every pit bull kept as a pet becomes a victim of the stereotype that the media puts on these dogs.
â€œEvery responsible Pit Bull owner is eyed with suspicion, every responsible breeder is suspected of breeding ‘fighting dogsâ€™,â€ the motion said.
In the motion, the groups argue that because Vick funded the dog fighting operation and was the leader, he should face more time in prison than his co-defendants. They said the dogs should be viewed the same under the sentencing guideline as human victims.
In other Vick related news, one of Vick’s co-defendants has been ordered to stay in jail until his sentencing. Judge Hudson revoked Quanis Phillipsâ€™ bond in August after he failed a drug test.
Vick and his co-defendants are required to pass drug screens to stay free on bond until their sentencings in December.