One Dog From Vick Operation Recommended for Euthanization; 48 Others Might Be Spared

pit_bull_restrained.jpgThe U.S. Attorney’s Office filed documents in federal court stating that one of the dogs seized from Michael Vick’s Surry County property has exhibited “intense aggression” and should be euthanized. The other 48 dogs might be spared.

All 49 pit bulls seized as part of the dogfighting investigation were ordered to undergo behavior assessments. According to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, one of the dogs was deemed a candidate for immediate euthanasia.

Vick, a Newport News native and sidelined NFL quarterback, pleaded guilty in August to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge. Last week, Vick and three associates were indicted by a Surry County grand jury on two new charges - engaging in or promoting the fighting of dogs and beating, killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs. They’re scheduled to make a local court appearance Wednesday.

The federal court ordered a team of certified animal-behavior experts to test the pit bulls. The videotaped testing sessions were performed in Septemeber. Eleven tests were designed to evaluate each dog’s behavior toward humans and other animals and each dog was classified into one of five categories: no sign of aggression and suitable for fostering or rehabilitation; energetic dogs that might be trained for law enforcement; fearful or unsocialized dogs that might be placed in sanctuary; dogs that exhibit threatening behavior when provoked that might be candidates for a sanctuary with extensive breed experience; and dogs that are very aggressive or have severe medical problems and are recommended for euthanasia.

The court documents did not specify in which category the remaining 48 dogs fell. It said only that the dogs “appear to have some potential for possible placement with specific conditions.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to ask the court to appoint a guardian to oversee possible placement of the dogs.

Source: Newport News, Va., Daily Press

Photo: Tatiana Sapateiro

22 Responses to “One Dog From Vick Operation Recommended for Euthanization; 48 Others Might Be Spared”

  1. Nikki says:

    Here’s the actual court order, in PDF format:

  2. EmilyS says:

    not only great news for these dogs, and for pit bulls in general, but a royal rebuke to PETA and HSUS who wanted the dogs dead without any evaluation

  3. Nancy G. says:

    I’m so glad to see this; one thing I noted in the pictures I saw of the dogs, in the newspapers and on websites, was their eyes- most of them seemed to have a look of fear or traumatization in their eyes. They weren’t deadened eyes, or fierce, challenging eyes, they looked traumatized. I wondered if they heard the death cries and struggles of the ones so brutally killed by Vick and his cohorts- imagine the trauma that would cause a dog! I am glad they will be given a chance at a better life. Yes, and poo on PETA and the HSUS.

  4. Lynne says:

    “PETA and HSUS who wanted the dogs dead without any evaluation”

    Where is it on the web where they say this?

  5. catmom5 says:

    I am so happy for these doggers. Even the one who will be euthanized will be at peace, for once. I look forward to hearing that these dogs are living lives in the safety and comfort of a home/sanctuary. It will probably take some hard work, but they are so worth it! AND . . . HSUS and PETA can go take a flying leap! They really do not have the best interests of these dogs in mind when they say to kill them without testing. HSUS will never get another penny of mine. AND I will make it a point to share their “philosophy” every chance I get.

  6. Underdog says:

    These dogs were bred for aggression. The ones who weren’t aggressive enough were murdered, as Vick and his cronies admitted. While I am very happy for the remaining dogs, adopting one of them is a huge risk and one that I would not be willing to take. Good luck to those who do!

  7. Janine says:

    I hope they finally give these dogs over to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. That is an amazing place that has already offered its resources, facilities, and love to those dogs. If anyone can rehab them, Best Friends can. I have taken trips to volunteer there and they do wonders will all animals, especially the pitts in their custody. They are the most loving, loyal animals I have ever witnessed and should be given the chance they never got living with Vick. And he should be paying for it all. He is trash in my opinion. Speciesism is the worst type of prejudice there is.

  8. trucorgi says:

    Lynne says: “PETA and HSUS who wanted the dogs dead without any evaluation” Where is it on the web where they say this?;ran=22638

  9. Bridgett says:

    I also found this.

    I looked at the HSUS official press releases and found nothing the called for the euthanization of these dogs other than this guys statement.

  10. Lynne says:

    trucorgi, thanks for the link.

  11. trucorgi says:

    You are welcome. Here’s another.

    “Officials from our organization have examined some of these dogs and, generally speaking, they are some of the most aggressively trained pit bulls in the country,” Wayne Pacelle, the president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Hundreds of thousands of less-violent pit bulls, who are better candidates to be rehabilitated, are being put down. The fate of these dogs will be up to the government, but we have recommended to them, and believe, they will be eventually put down.”

    Pacelle said the Humane Society normally advocated that fighting dogs be put down shortly after being seized.

  12. pork chop says:
    The sitte where PETA calls for Vicks dogs to be killed.. along with lots of others.

    Here is where the H$U$ ( who begged for $$ to keep Vicks dogs when they thoguht they could get away with it) now say it is not a good idea

    In an article in the Virginian-Pilot earlier this week enetitled, “Deadline Looms For Pitbulls Seized In Vick Investigation”, Pacelle, the HSUS CEO, is quoted as saying, ” it does not make sense to keep these animals alive”.

    PETA and the HSUS will be all over this one.. asking for $$$.. don;t send it.. give locally

  13. Dianne says:

    This is the work of BADRAP, an organization I have been crazy about since they went to New Orleans after Katrina to help with all the intact heartworm infested pit bulls. Yay for them!

  14. straybaby says:

    i think the ASPCA can take a *bit* of credit along with badrap!

  15. mdsiamese says:

    ““PETA and HSUS who wanted the dogs dead without any evaluation”

    Where is it on the web where they say this?”

    There were quotes in the news from both PETA and Wayne Pacelle of HSUS. Here is just one example:;ran=22638

  16. trucorgi says:

    Daphna Nachminovitch, director of the domestic animal department for PETA, said sanctuaries aren’t the answer. Dogs are designed to be companion animals, and they may not receive much attention in a sanctuary, she said.

    “These animals, if they’ve been evaluated and if they’re too aggressive to be placed in private homes, they shouldn’t be stored somewhere just so they stay breathing,” Nachminovitch said. “That’s just sad and it’s not in the dogs’ best interests.”

    Well, Daphna according to the article “The federal court ordered a team of certified animal-behavior experts, most with doctorate degrees in areas relevant to animal behavior, to test the pit bulls. The testing sessions ran Sept. 4-6 and were videotaped.” What do you mean “IF they’ve been evaluated”. The judge decided to rely on it’s experts not Peta and HSUS. Sounds like you are either calling someone a liar or it’s a case of sour grapes??? At the same time Peta hosted a meeting, “training class” and test for Vick, not ordered by the court.
    Apparently Daphna and Ingrid think he can be rehabbed but the dogs need to die. I wonder if they got him to sign one of those pledges that he won’t wear fur or eat meat. The next thing you know Peta will be testifying on Vick’s behalf.

  17. Live and Learn says:

    With so many “authorities” (trucorgi, porkshop, et al.) weighing in, it’s amazing that they aren’t being pursued by large animal organizations for input and/or leadership positions. Everybody has an opinion but, if yours is only a self-serving ego trip, do all a favor and keep it to yourself. The animals have enough trouble because of insignificant and counterproductive “activists,” and their huge egos, already.

  18. pat says:

    liveandlearn, the only ego trip i see on this thread is directly under your name. threads are for discussions, and i don’t see you as being the arbiter of what is a valid opinion and what isn’t.

  19. Kristy says:

    Whether people agree on past statements made by orgs/people or not - I am so happy to hear this news about the 48. It literally brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it on the radio.

    Underdog: If you read the article, you will see that it hasn’t been said yet about adopting the dogs out. Only that they are are looking at alternatives to Euthenasia. Plus I am sure that there are many younger dogs that were not trained yet or in the beginning phases of training. They were, after all, a breeding kennel as well. Those dogs would not have been killed yet for non-aggression. I true champion (aggressive fighting dog that has had man wins) has a short life span once it actually starts fighting. And dog-to-dog aggression is completely different than dog-to-human aggression. Ask anyone that does rescue with little dogs…

  20. Bridgett says:

    I am glad too that these 48, The 48, are getting a chance.

    That muzzled dog on the photo with this article is just heartbreaking.

  21. Lynn says:

    I’m very happy for these dogs.

    I’m sorry for the one whose photo is shown [that didn’t make the grade], but I feel in my heart that even he knows he’s got a much better chance to start anew at Rainbow Bridge …. and for once enjoy a normal life as it should have been for him. God bless.

  22. Holly says:

    Of all the “authorites” on here that I have seen, Dianne is the ONLY one who’s creds I know- and trust. Consider the source before jumping on a bandwagon. I’ve never personally been a fan of PETA or HSUS, i think their hearts are in the right place- SOMETIMES- but usually it seems they have underlying agendas. To paraphrase a scene from the movie “A time to Kill”… Imagine these dogs, all being bred and trained only to fight. Imagine the smell of blood and the screams of the hurt and dying that they hear every day. Imagine the horrible life these dogs were forced to live. Now imagine these dogs are not pitbulls, they are your favorite breed.

    I think people would look at it differently if it were “their” breed and not “just pitbulls”. These dogs are bred to be the best at whatever their owners choose them to be…it’s not their fault if they have idiot owners who choose to make them fight. Since they have been evaluated by QUALIFIED individuals that are actually entitled to and ABLE to make an actual informed decision, and those ppl say these dogs can be placed, they should be placed. End of story.

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