The 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