Dogs In Vick Investigation Face Deadline; Knicks Player Defends Vick

Vick’s Pitbulls

More than 50 pit bulls seized from Michael Vick’s property face a deadline today to be claimed. If no one comes forward, the dogs could be put down.

Last month, federal prosecutors filed court documents to condemn 53 pit bulls (one pictured here) that were seized from Vick’s Virginia property in April as part of their dog fighting investigation. As of yet, no one has claimed any of the dogs. They are being held at several unspecified shelters in eastern Virginia.

The government filed three public civil forfeiture notices regarding the dogs’ confiscation. The deadline for claims is 30 days after the final notice, which was filed July 24.

When confiscated property is unclaimed, the government asks the court to have the items declared forfeited. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson will have the final say on the pit bulls’ fate.

Even though Hudson will determine what happens to the dogs, a PETA spokeswoman said that most likely they will be euthanized because they’re not adoptable as pets.

“These dogs are a ticking time bomb,” she said. “Rehabilitating fighting dogs is not in the cards. It’s widely accepted that euthanasia is the most humane thing for them.”

The locations of the shelters holding the pit bulls have not been public knowledge, so the pit bulls will not be stolen. The PETA spokeswoman said they are a hot commodity in the dog fighting world.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson has made a decision regarding the pit bulls seized from Vick’s property. Judge Hudson has ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to take custody of the dogs.

The judge ordered the Marshals Service to use “whatever means appropriate to protect and maintain” the dogs. It is uncertain what the U.S. Marshals Service plans to do with the dogs.

In other Vick related news, another athlete comes to Vick’s side. This time it is New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury. Marbury called dogfighting a sport and compared it to hunting.

“I think it’s tough,” Marbury said. “I think, you know, we don’t say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It’s just behind closed doors.”

Marbury added that it is hard when the public builds up Vick and then we break him down. He said Vick is a good human being and just got into a bad situation.

Source: USA Today, MSNBC, AJC

Photo: Delaware Online

(Thanks menusux, Eric, and Irene)

39 Responses to “Dogs In Vick Investigation Face Deadline; Knicks Player Defends Vick”

  1. Karen Bear & Thor's Mom says:

    Is reasonable. Yep, I’ll get slammed for this comment.

    Dog fighting is not much different that cock fighting, hunting with bows & arrows, guns.

    Or even using hounds to go to the fox.

    We as a society must chose which moral issues to take stands on. Dog fighting is one that our society has chosen as being the most unacceptable.

    How about those that eat the meat of dogs? Or use products that have come from rendered dogs?

    Where is the line drawn? By our morals and our legislators.

    Michael Vick made a very stupid choice and is going to do the time for it. He has lost a lot of respect, money, and freedom because of those choices.

    Vick doesn’t need me to tear him down, he did that to himself.

    Interesting that PETA thinks all the dogs must be euthanized. But than again PETA is another moral issue that we humans love to debate about.

    My attitude is it’s time to educate people on animal fighting and other acts of “perceived” cruelty to animals. Start with the kids and we can eliminate dog bites, cruelty, and other behaviors within one generation.

    OFF my soapbox. And….. stuffing cotton in my ears.

  2. Mary Hufford says:

    This the second time we’ve seen Vick defenders compare dog fighting to hunting. There is a huge difference between the two. Maybe when we put a deer in a cage, kick it, tease it, starve it (more than they’re already starved by human encroachment and loss of habitat), chain it, and when it’s just crazy enough to hurt us, we’ll shoot it and make a fair comparison. What we do in feedlots to cattle or hogs comes a lot closer to dog fighting than does hunting.

    And this is at least the second time we’ve heard the good boy-bad situation argument. Hmmm. Isn’t Vick an adult? Did he not own the kennel? How did he get put into a bad situation here? Nobody forced him to purchase the dogs, build the kennels, pit them against one another. If these things must be done “behind closed doors” (no escape route for the dogs that way), then logic should tell Mr. Vick that what he’s doing is wrong, if he was stupid enough to not know in the first place.

  3. nora says:

    These ridicuous comparisons and statements defending Vic and Dogfighting glaringly show the persons ignorance, lack of REAL street savy, and lack of compassion for dogs. I am one who will be stuffing my ears with cotton against ignorant comments such as the ones we are addressing now.

  4. nora says:

    Also, the look on this poor dogs face says it all. The scars tell a hideously cruel story and the confusion, fear and doubt radiating from his eyes are gut wrenching and make my heart hurt. The abuse is so obvious that this animal has endured and being forced to fight to survive has taken its toll on this poor animal.

  5. 2CatMom says:

    Isn’t there anything that can be done to save the dogs. Many of them probably can be rehabilitated with time. I think Vick should have to pay for every dog to be evaluated by a reputable bully breed rescue group as well as any costs involved in saving those that can be.

    Does anyone have information on where we can contact the judge? I’d like to make this suggestion to his office at least.

  6. 2CatMom says:

    I found the judge’s phone number - and spoke to his assistant. she told me that the State Attorney’s office will decide the fate of the dogs.

    I called their office and was given this email to send comments to:

    Everyone I spoke to has been very nice and understand the concerns. So let’s flood them with POLITE emails asking them to please, please have the dogs evaluated for tempermant and rehabilitation potential before deciding their fate.

    Please don’t comment on Vick, the job the state Attorney has done, etc. Keep your focus on the dogs and how its only fair to give these dogs a chance.

  7. straybaby says:

    who do they expect to come forward an claim the dogs?!

    what am i missing here? they seized the dogs right? from dog fighters right? i’m guessing they won’t let vick and his boys claim the dogs, so . . . ?

  8. pork chop says:

    When OH When will the “media” stop taking PETAS word for anything?.. PETA kills animals.. over 90 percent of their “intakes ” are killled on the spot.. PETA employees have been on trial for killing innocent animals and dumping their bodies in a DUMPSTER.. how is this any different that Vick?..Oh thats right it’s PETA.. They are one sick bunch of people and yet the media still takes their word as “gospel”.. PETA calls for the elimination of ALL pets and death to ALL “pit bulls”. These dogs are the VICTIMS.. not the perpetrators in this crime.. they should be protected.. not killed. It may be “widely accepted” in PETA circles that fighting dogs are killed.. but not in most educated dog circles. PETA has an agenda and they are making it known with YOUR help

    They are even pitting ( if I may use the word) children against children to find the “cutest” vegan kid.. SICK

    The next time you want a fair and balanaced view check out the NAIA.. an animal welfare site.. not an ANIMAL RIGHTS site.. PETA KILLS ANIMALS AND THEY DARE TO LECTURE THE REST OF US

  9. Barb says:

    Yesterday’s article by Ingrid Newkirk, the president of Norfork, Va.-based PETA:

    What Vick Should Do About Cruelty

  10. Debra says:

    Hey. Since when do Americans eat dog? Last I heard it was American Indians who had to resort to the practice on reservations or face starvation–but that may be knowledge of Am. history via Hollywood. What happens in other countries is beyond our control. And, don’t try to justify the practice by saying “they do it.” Rendering animals that we hold dear to us as pets is an abhorrant practice and should be stopped. We still have many battles to fight in this country involving humane treatment of animals. Some good is coming from Michael Vick’s screw up due to the raised visibility concerning dog fighting and the consequences of being caught. Don’t compare dog fighting to hunting. Mary said it best above. Further, I believe, fox hunting has been banned in many states. There was a flap in No. Cal. last year due to some group using live hares for hound coursing. That was shut down too and rightfully so. Mom, educating the kids is great and, yes, it should be done, but we can’t wait for an entire generation to “get” it. We need the throw anyone caught involved in dog fighting in jail and if they are professional athletes, then they need to be banned from ever working in professional sports again.

  11. Dianne says:

    There is an organization in the Bay area called BADRAP

    They helped in New Orleans. If you go to the site there is information on temperment evaluation. Don’t look to PETA for anything. They don’t think we should have pets.

  12. Bridgett says:

    Dog fighting is the same as cock fighting. Cruel and inhumane blood lust.

    It is also illegal in 49 states.

  13. KarlaSanDiego says:

    This is unbelievable. I agree with StrayBaby. Who’s to claim them? More dog figting supporters? Geez. I’m sorry to say this but they need to be euthanized. They are of great danger to people, other animals, and children. They only know one thing: To Kill.

  14. 2CatMom says:

    karla: You are mistaken - many of these dogs can be retrained and live safely in homes. Please go to and learn the truth. I used to think the same as you - but now I know better.

  15. A.C. says:

    Dogs trained to fight can MOST DEFINITELY become loving, loyal house-pets. Like so much else, it depends on the particular animal’s temperament.

    Judge Hudson, please don’t take the easy out here - get these dogs evaluated (and by a credible animal behaviorist)! Give ‘em a chance to see that being a dog in today’s society is NOT all about starvation and beatings and loneliness!

    And as for PETA, why on earth is an organization whose very mission denies the value of the pet-owner relationship being quoted as an authority on the rehabilitation capabilities of ANY domesticated species? Hello? Has simple common sense in journalism died? That’s like asking the fox if the henhouse is secure! Argghhh!

  16. Katie says:

    I will never feel sorry for MV. This has been going on for years, it’s not like he only did this once. He knows the LAW, and he chose to break it because he has lots of money and fame. Seems the “stars” all believe they should be treated differently because they are famous and beyond the law.

    Everyday there are more “sports stars” commenting on how dogfighting is a sport? What is with these guys. Maybe the article the other day quoting the general manager as saying the NFL (and probably goes for the NBA) would hire an ax muderer if he had talent and could win a game.

    I wish the media would look into the statistics of how many crimes of human abuse and death were done by a human who abused or killed animals first. There is something morally,ethically and emotionally wrong with someone who can feel blood thirst entertainment from watching and supporting an animal kill another animal. Sick, Sick, Sick.

    For the animals, I hope that the judge allows them to be evaluated. I worry though, that people who might get them if they are released would continue to fight them or brag about them being Vick’s fighters - looking for media spotlight.


  17. Denise says:

    A while back I read this article on Best Friends about a man who is seeking
    retribution for Vick’s dogs and wants to save them.

    Maybe there’s some hope to save some of them and give them a second chance. This man wants to get in contact with the Attorney General or the Judge and others who may want to help.

  18. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    Hey, 2Cat - you sure about that email address?

    We send a comment to that address, and it bounced, ‘Host unknown’.

    Suggestions, anyone?

  19. nora says:

    Dianne, I soooo enjoyed the badrap website you gave. The Bullies available for adoption are so gorgeous and the happy stories are heart warming and wonderful. Thank God for an organization like them!

  20. Lynn says:

    I’ve just notified the Itchmo Admin’s about this article:

    Written by a black man. Perhaps the best article I’ve read yet. Be sure to read all of it, then rate it at the end of the article on the MSNBC site.

  21. serijna says:

    I believe that addie for State attorney eastern district should be

  22. Bridgett says:


    That is a great article. Amen to common sense!

  23. 2CatMom says:

    Serijina is correct! As I said over on pet connection, I have dogs on my mind today!
    Sorry about that

  24. Bridgett says:

    This makes me want to adopt a bullie.

  25. catmom5 says:

    ANIMAL FIGHTING IS NOT A SPORT!!! It is a barbaric, intentional torture and abuse of animals for the “pleasure” and “entertainment” of amoral people. I hope MV’s dogs will be evaluated and the ones who can be rehabilitated will be, but for all others, I hope their death is gentle and humane and that at some point in time they know that not all humans are cruel monsters. I believe the animals wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge, and I, for one, would be honored to add these dogs to my family there.

  26. Stefani says:

    A good human being who just got into a bad situation? Like, someone else wrote checks to buy those dogs? Someone else electrocuted them, killed them? He just got duped into attending some random fights on his own property?


    I don’t really believe in sport hunting either (hunting for food is different) but at least all but probably the sickest of twisted sadist yahoos don’t prolong the prey’s death on purpose when they hunt. These dogs are forced to fight to death or near death while dozens of morons cheer and place illegal bets.

    What IS WRONG with these athletes? WHERE are their coaches? If they can’t be better people, if they must be so repugnant, then at least their coaches should tell them to SHUT UP!!!!!! Just shut their freakin mouths.

    I am actually shocked at how many idiots in the sports world are speaking in defense of this behavior. I really can never engage in spectator sports again.

    Well, there is still soccer. Have any soccer players said moronic things about this?

    The Toonces Project
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

    PS — I hope they at least try to find the younger dogs that are rehabilitatable out of this group. So very sad.

    We definitely have a population problem. A HUMAN population problem. Too many evil morons.

  27. jillpw says:

    As AC said “And as for PETA, why on earth is an organization whose very mission denies the value of the pet-owner relationship being quoted as an authority on the rehabilitation capabilities of ANY domesticated species? Hello? Has simple common sense in journalism died? That’s like asking the fox if the henhouse is secure! Argghhh!”

    It is quite possible that the dogs can not be rehabilitated and that euthenasia is the best option. BUT they should be evaluated by an animal behavior specialist. Since when is PETA the authority on this issue?! PETA favors of eliminating the pit bull breed entirely regardless of background or temperment.

  28. EmilyS says:

    of course the dogs wouldn’t go to dogfighters.. that’s just plain stupid and cruel as another excuse to kill the victims.

    They would be evaluated by any one of several highly experienced and reputable people/organizations like BadRap (there are others who have offered as well). It’s likely that many/most would not be judged suitable for rehoming. But it’s equally likely that some WOULD be.

    Would you kill them all rather than see even one saved?

    That’s the final ironic cruelty to these poor victims.

    Especially considering some may be survivors of the toruture inflicted on those who wouldn’t even fight.

  29. straybaby says:

    “The judge ordered the Marshals Service to use “whatever means appropriate to protect and maintain” the dogs. It is uncertain what the U.S. Marshals Service plans to do with the dogs.”

    sounds like the dogs may get evaluated. so i guess the dogs have been claimed now.

  30. keciacat says:

    I would LOVE to get Cesar Milan’s take on this. Would be interesting since he thinks most dogs are salvageable. Has he made a statement anywhere that you know of?

  31. AnimalChaplain Nancy says:


    This Press Release is in memory of the animals tortured and slaughtered in dog fighting. As personally satisfying as it would be to spay and neuter Michael Vick (with no anesthesia), we prefer to teach people how animals SHOULD BE TREATED, and what a blessing they are in our lives. Thanks for reading it and passing it on. ~ Nancy Cronk at www.Animal
    Press Release August 22, 2007

    “Animal Chaplains To Honor and Bless All Creatures on World Animal Day”

    ~ from the Interfaith Association of Animal Clergy

    While Americans have watched in horror as celebrity athlete Michael Vick admits being a willling participant in one of the cruelest, most horrific crimes against animals ever committed, America needs an emotional healing. That day is World Animal Day.

    In what will look like a scene from the popular family movie, “Evan Almighty”, scores of Animal Chaplains around the world will bless hundreds, perhaps thousands of animals in many different settings on October 4th 2007. At a pet cemetery on the east coast, to a city park in the desert, to a sandy beach on the west coast, they will walk in on a leash, fly in on a harness, and slither in their cages. Barking, mewing, bleating, mooing, whinnying and purring will join human voices in hymns of praise and worship. World Animal Day is a day dedicated to honoring, blessing, and protecting animals all over the world.

    World Animal Day was founded at an ecologist’s convention in Florence, Italy in 1931 as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4th was chosen as World Animal Day because it is also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic Church holiday which is often celebrated with an annual “blessing of the pets”. Since then, it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and has been widely celebrated around the world. Churches and synagogues in many faiths traditions have adopted “Pet Blessing Day” or “World Animal Day” in increasing numbers every year.

    The Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains prepares for World Animal Day by referring its members and visitors to the official World Animal Day website. The site provides ideas and resources to individuals, families, community groups and congregations everywhere. People can post their pledge for volunteering at a World Animal Day event. In addition to blessing pets, volunteers will work at animal shelters, zoos, rescues, and other nonprofit organizations. Dogs will be walked, cats will be brushed, horses will be groomed, and fish will benefit from freshly cleaned tanks. Donations will be given to animal welfare agencies, and pets will be adopted. School children will collect pet food to be donated to charities, and bake sales and car washes will be held as fundraising events. Veterinary clinics will hold free spay and neuter days, or may offer to vaccinate pets at no charge. All over the world, on the very same day, the well-being of animals will be on the minds of millions of people.

    Interfaith Chaplain Nancy Cronk feels a day honoring animals is very important at a time when the headlines speak of animal cruelty such as athlete Michael Vick’s alleged ties to illegal dog fighting. Animal Chaplains would like everyone to know that every major faith endorses the responsible stewardship of the earth and all of its creatures. “Deliberate harming of animals is in direct opposition to teachings in all of the major world faiths. Caring for animals is our global spiritual responsibility. If we can teach this ethic to all of our children, animal abuse and suffering will someday become a distant memory”.

    To find out how to get involved on World Animal Day, go to To find out more about Animal Chaplains, go to

    (This article may be reprinted.)

    Nancy J. Cronk
    Founder, Chair and Chaplain
    Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains

  32. Buster says:

    PETA KILLS PETS. Read the evidence here. Read the court case. Read what their members did to a worried little girl’s cat and her kitens.

    It is time to give these PETA frauds the boot and expose them for what they are.

  33. mittens says:

    if these poor unfortunates were raised in the manner of most highly sought after fighting dogs, as much as the many good hearted and well intentioned animal lovers here would have it, the hope for rehabilitation into household pets adoptable by the average pet owner is very very slim.

    the dogs have been raised to be vicious-it has been literally beat into them through cruelty and a truly sociopathic manipulation of the animal’s inherent desire to please it’s ‘ master’ at all costs. they have had every comfort and affection we would rain on our pets denied them-the life of a beloved pet and family member is unknown to them. if theyve tasted the blood of the ring, putting them down for lack of anywhere to keep them without fear for the safety of other dogs, animals and humans is generally in truth the only humane option.

    would that it were otherwise. most successful rehabs of so called ‘ pit bulls’ are of the bait dogs-the unfortunate creatures used to train the champions- not of the successful and more vicious winners. PETA sucks but in this case their statement about most fighting dogs rehab chances is true.

    i would like to stress my comments are directed not at a breed of dogs but toward animals who have specifically been used for fighting .if they were successful fighters (and that they were still alive to be confiscated shows they probably were) the behaviors may be too ingrained. the fault is not the animal’s and it seems so unfair that they are the one’s who ultimately suffer the consequences of what a human has made of them by exploiting so completely their loyalty and trust.

    vick should be forced to pay for any rehabilitation efforts, all vet care and to pay for a secure dwelling place so the animals deemed too dangerous can live out their lives and not be euthanized. it only seems fair. expensive and fair.

    do we say it’s ok to kill humans because afterall’ people hunt deer’. stupid jocks. dog fighting is nothing like hunting. it’s more race baiting-ie some thing like: white people hunt so its ok but black people fight dogs and it’s not. mr. logic has left the building once again in the service of getting another thuggish rich black man off the hook for his criminal actions because he’s allegedly only being prosecuted because of his color. such bullsheet. it is shameful to use the cause of equality under the law-something so many people suffered, fought and died for in this country- as a shill for trying to avoid the consequences of your clearly illegal not to mention unethical voluntary actions. the man is as self absorbed and entitled acting as any rich white man-the scale of his dog operation shows he had no fear of anyone daring to actually do something about a criminal behavior he felt he had every right to participate in. people should be ashamed of and disown his behavior not make self serving insulting excuses for it. the gang mentality shown by participating in dog fighting is the cancer eating away at inner city black communities and destroying lives. it cannot be explained away and it must not be tolerated and bandied about by rich people who have protections and resources unknown to poor people in a similar situation.. considering it part of a particular culture that’s simply shunned or underground because of white racism/disapproval is perpetuating a self inflicted genocide - a willful eradication of all the life affirming brave achievements of the civil rights movement through denial of personal responsibility and projection of your own demons onto others .

  34. momkat says:

    I’m personally against hunting too…so that comparison just compounds my disgust.
    Man is the only creature who enjoys to torture and kill for sport.
    That is a sad commentary on our species.

  35. EmilyS says:

    Best Friends offers support for Vick dogs:

    unlike PETA and HSUS.

    BF had a lot of experience with rescuing pit bulls of all sorts during Katrina, and I believe it really turned them around on the breed

    Let’s hope their voice carries weight

  36. Pit Bull Lover says:

    WHAT?!? Oh, HAY-ELL no. This cannot be correct. I know it’s not RIGHT, but I’m going to be furious if it’s accurate:

    “When Michael Vick pleads guilty to dogfighting charges on Monday, he reportedly won’t admit any guilt to killing dogs or gambling on dogfighting as detailed in his federal indictment, ESPN reported Thursday.

    “Instead, the ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback will admit to one count of interstate commerce for the purpose of taking dogs across state lines for dogfighting.

  37. straybaby says:


    MV has no control over what the judge asks him. if i have this right, the others only pled to the same charge, but submitted statements of fact. they are all pleading guilty to conspiracy to do *something* (sorry, don’t remember exact charge!) it’s a charge that carries a 5 yr $250,000 penalty max. seeing as the judge has a rep for being tough and made comments that sounded like he wasn’t going easy on them, i think MV is up the river. he’s pleaing to avoid the total truth, but it still may bite him in the ass with the state. remember, about an hour after the hearing, there may be a statement of facts posted as it happened with the others. there is no way he’ll admit to the gambling charge as that seals his NFL future. He won’t have to admit to killing dogs because he hasn’t been charged with that. but that doesn’t mean the judge won’t ask about it . . .

    and don’t forget, the feds have his financial records . . . .

    on a side note, i LOVE that they are calling him an EX-quarterback!

  38. Lynne says:

    Buster provides a link to petakillsanimals. This is one of the websites run by the Center for Consumer Freedom:
    The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) (formerly called the “Guest Choice Network”) is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries. It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.’ ”

    Over 40 of the group’s 2005 expenditure was paid to Rick Berman’s PR company, Berman & Co. for “management services. [1] As part of its operations CCF runs a series of attack websites, including “,,,,,, [and]”

    Just so you know where your info is coming from.

  39. Ethics Professor Discusses Dog Fighting And Hunting | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] people, including NBA player Stephon Marbury, have compared dog fighting to hunting. In response to the comparison between dog fighting and […]

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