Vick’s Involvement In Dog Fighting Was Open Secret


Michael Vick’s involvement in dog fighting was widely rumored in certain organizations and circles long before he made his guilty plea last week.

A South Carolina police detective got a tip from an informant. PETA and the Humane Society of the United States both received tips about Vick’s possible involvement.

But these rumors were never shared with Vick’s employers, the Atlanta Falcons. They didn’t even share the rumors with each other. Animal advocates said they were afraid to tell the Falcons and authorities because they thought this would cause Vick’s dog fighting activities to go further underground.

Investigators said they lacked evidence to bring down Vick or considered him irrelevant to the cases they were following.

William Frick, a prosecutor for the South Carolina’s animal cruelty task force, said in late 2003 or early 2004, a confidential informant began naming dog fighters. And one prominent name came up: Michael Vick.

Frick said the informant claimed Vick had a “dog yard” in South Carolina where he kept dogs between fights. Law enforcement officials never investigated the report and did not find any evidence that Vick had been involved with any dog fights in South Carolina.

In Vick’s guilty plea, he admitted entering a pit bull named Big Boy in a 2003 fight in South Carolina.

But Frick said the allegations about Vick “just evaporated”, and if they had seen anything with Vick’s name on it, they would have pursued it.

The Humane Society and PETA also received reports that were similar to this South Carolina tip.

But the two groups didn’t share their reports of Vick with each other.

Since 2004, PETA received several anonymous tips saying that dog fights were being held on Vick’s Virginia property.

The tips were “not specific enough that we or anyone else could do anything else with it,” said Dan Shannon, PETA’s assistant program director. But “when the name Michael Vick is involved, it perks your ears up.”

PETA informed the law enforcement officials in Virginia. Police said there was not enough evidence to obtain a search warrant.

The Humane Society also heard Vick was involved in dog fighting from a paid informant first in 2004.

The informant described Vick’s interest in dog fighting and said he was the subject of widespread discussion in “the game dog world.”

Several other people contacted the Humane Society with similar reports. The organization was unsure of what to do because they thought if they alerted authorities, this would allow Vick to hide evidence. But if they didn’t say anything, Vick would be able to continue his criminal activities. In the end, the Humane Society didn’t say anything.

When officials in Texas were investigating a 2006 homicide of a dog fighter, they spoke to numerous people who mentioned Vick’s involvement in dog fighting. The Sheriff’s Office in Texas didn’t follow up on the allegations because Vick was not involved with the murder case.

The Humane Society said they had heard Vick had put his fighting dogs on “hiatus.” But in spring of this year, the organization received a tip from a carpenter who saw signs of dog fighting while working at Vick’s Virginia home. Once again, the Humane Society did not follow up with this information.

When authorities found evidence of dog fighting at Vick’s property in April, PETA’s Shannon said “it did not come as a surprise.


(Thanks menusux)

12 Responses to “Vick’s Involvement In Dog Fighting Was Open Secret”

  1. catmom5 says:

    This is as disturbing as MV’s activities. What is the point in going after these dog fighters if the “authorities” can’t/won’t do anything when they get information? Sounds as if MV was a BIG player ~ lots different from his story. The more we learn, the sicker I get.

  2. Lynne says:

    “Law enforcement officials never investigated the report and did not find any evidence that Vick had been involved with any dog fights in South Carolina.”

    If they never investigated the report how did they know he was not involved in dog fights in South Carolina? That is the state I, unfortunately, live in. I’d give ANYTHING to escape this backward, ignorant place.

  3. Sharon says:

    Authorities knew about this for four years and did nothing? I hope they all lose their jobs. I thought Texas was the worst state when it comes to caring about animals and children but South Carolina comes in a close second. I’m from the Midwest and still find it hard to swallow the ignorance of people from the South.

  4. nora says:

    Getting away with all those atrocities for so many years, no wonder he was so cocky and self assured. He was allowed to savagely abuse hundreds of dogs for so many years. It just keeps getting more sickening. These other atheletes who are known Dog Fighters need to be pursued also and taken DOWN.

  5. Nancy G. says:

    Hey, Sharon, there are dog fighting rings all over the country; don’t come down on “the ignorance of people from the south.” How about “the ignorance of people in Detroit and Chicago”? What about the people from the south who tried to tip off the Humane Society, PETA, and local law? What about the carpenter in Virginia who alerted authorities to signs of dog fighting on Vick’s Virginia property? Show me a place, an area, that doesn’t have ignorant people and I’ll buy you a nice vegetarian dinner. Oh, BTW, I am a Virginia native…

  6. Lynn says:

    Check the following link for insight as to why these cases are not often prosecuted, in spite of the number of complaints made by the public.

    The sad truth is that dogfighting IS happening all over the country. Difficult to prosecute because it’s very hard to collect evidence. Too, court calendars are usually filled with other cases that impact human welfare rather than animal welfare. Sooner or later people will realize that dogfighting is the launching pad for most every other type of violence to man.

  7. Stefani says:

    I reallly cannot and do not believe that many of his teammates didn’t know. I think many NFL players have been involved in dog fighting, and management has looked the other way. I can’t see how it could possibly be otherwise.

    Gibbs should have suspended Portis for the season for his remarks, but he didn’t. Gibbs used to be all about moral standards, but it seems these days, with a losing record, he can’t afford to sideline one of his most valuable players. They look the other way to immoral conduct for the sake of wins, and $$.

    No more NFL spectatorship for me, and I was a Redskin fan since the age of 6.

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

  8. Lynn says:


    Whoopi Goldberg just clarified what I suspected: yesterday she was only presenting a POV that some might have re the culture being responsible for Vick’s frame of reference on dogfighting. She wasn’t condoning it, she wasn’t excusing it. Just putting a thought out there.

  9. Nikki says:

    Even when the evidence was available, Virginia Commonwealth’s attorney general, Gerald Poindexter, along with the local sheriff, tried hard to ignore Vick’s involvement by refusing to execute a search warrant. It took the feds to intervene, much to the chagrin of Poindexter and the sheriff, in order to bring Vick down. It is said that Vick’s dogfighting activities were fairly common knowledge among the locals, including law enforcement, yet nothing had been done until the federal government forced the issue. I’m still waiting to see if and when Poindexter files the local charges against Vick, now that he can’t escape the glare of public scrutiny. If those charges aren’t filed in September, as Poindexter has promised, it will be up to we animal protectors to rant, rally and rave until Poindexter finally does the job he was sworn to do.

    And regarding Whoopi. Yes, she DID defend Vick in that she made excuses for him. To make matters worse, she also offended and insulted Southerners by suggesting that dogfighting is an acceptable “sport” in the South. It is not. Dogfighting is just as illegal in all the southern states as it is in the rest of the 50 states.

  10. DMikeM says:

    The Humane Society, PETA, and South Carolina police Dept should be held accountable for the torture and torment of every dog since 2003 that was fought or killed due to MV’s involvement in Dog fighting. This is ludicrous, if I had a dog fight in my backyard and someone reported it to the local authorities I would have been in jail the next day. Of course I am white and a middle class white collar worker.

  11. Barb says:

    Police Officer charged with felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly kicking his K-9 partner Duke to death during an obedience training exercise with more than a dozen other police dogs and trainers present.

    Read -

    This is no isolated incident–this happens all the time. Though there are some compassionate people who work in the army and the police, they are the exception. Brutality is the norm–dogs are hanged and kicked to death. People are outraged when torture and sadistic killing of animals is done by individuals–don’t tolerate it being done by institutions, or people hiding behind them, being protected by them. This torture must be exposed and stopped. And brutal “training” methods which torture and kill animals must be outlawed. Here is a website by a courageous lady who has devoted her life to exposing and stopping this horror–it is happening all around us all the time:

  12. Lynne says:

    Barb, thanks for the links. I will take action.

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