Vick Admits Guilt
Michael Vick details his role in dogfighting. More»
The Humane Society of the United States Statement on Michael Vick Plea Agreement
August 24, 2007
The Humane Society of the United States released the following statement in reaction to Michael Vick's plea agreement [PDF] in federal court today admitting to conspiracy in a dogfighting ring.
"We're pleased this case is progressing, and that the original concerns about an illegal, interstate dogfighting network have been entirely validated," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "We hope the judge provides a sentence commensurate with the gravity of these crimes. But this is not the end point in this fightwe must turn our attention to cracking down on this very ugly form of organized crime in America."
The Humane Society of the United States has decades of experience in prosecuting animal cruelty cases and would like to offer our assistance to law enforcement agencies. The Humane Society of the United States has recently announced a newly invigorated animal fighting reward program. The Humane Society of the United States now offers up to $5,000 for citizens who provide the police with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of people involved in animal fighting.
ANTI DOG FIGHTING VIDEO CONTEST .VOTE!!!! http://www.hsus.org/acf/news/vote_video_contest.htm
Media reports since the day Michael Vick was indicted on dogfighting charges show that law enforcement is increasingly cracking down on dogfighters, as this list of recent arrests demonstrates. While the welcome new attention on the issue is leading to more police activity, these caseswhich broke up just a small fraction of the animal fighting operations still lurking in the shadowsshould be only the beginning.
The dogfighting problem in this country is much bigger than Michael Vick and will not go away when his case has been resolved. Dogs bred and exploited for this bloodsport will continue to suffer long after the sports headlines turn to a different topic. These dogfighting busts are a step in the right direction, and thousands more dogs will be abused and killed if law enforcement does not maintain its new momentum against this crime.
August 20, 2007: In Atchison, Kan., law enforcement arrested two people and seized 12 dogs. They planned to file dogfighting charges.
August 19, 2007: Police arrested two teens in Toledo, Ohio, for dogfighting and seized five dogs.
August 17, 2007: The authorities seized three dogs as well as drugs (ecstasy and crack cocaine) and arrested two men in Ford Heights, Ill., on dogfighting charges.
August 17, 2007: Officials raided a home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. twice in one week, charging two people with dogfighting-related charges, and seizing a dozen dogs in all.
August 11, 2007: Law enforcement interrupted a dogfight in Detroit, Mich. The participants ran off, but officials seized three dogs, along with a fighting pit and medication commonly given to fighting dogs.
August 10, 2007: Following up on the raids in N.M. from the previous day, officials hit two locations in El Paso, Texas, and seized approximately 25 dogs.
August 10, 2007: A man in Greensboro, N.C., faced dogfighting charges upon his arrest. The authorities seized 14 live dogs and found a dead dog on the property.
August 9, 2007: Law enforcement raided two locations in Chaparral, N.M., and seized 38 dogs. Officials arrested two men associated with Southwest Kennels.
August 8, 2007: Police arrested a Beaufort, Ga., man for dogfighting. At the scene, they found 12 live pit bulls, three dead pit bulls, a dead raccoon and conditioning equipment of the type often used by dogfighters.
August 8, 2007: In Fresno, Calif., officials arrested five people and seized 11 pit bulls, in addition to drugs and firearms. At the scene, officials found six graphic videos of dogs fighting.
August 8, 2007: A drug raid in Buffalo, N.Y., turned up ten dogs who authorities believe were being used for fighting. They seized the dogs.
August 7, 2007: A car crash in Indiana County, Pa., led to the discovery of a pit bull in the back seat who had bite marks and other injuries consistent with dogfighting. Official seized the dog and arrested the driver.
August 3, 2007: The law caught up again with a convicted felon in Portland, Ore., during an arrest which netted 11 dogs. The accused dogfighter ran an operation called Dead Game Kennels.
August 3, 2007: In Indianapolis, Ind., officials arrested a man for dogfighting and seized six dogs.
August 3, 2007: Law enforcement charged a woman in Salem County, N.J., with dogfighting after her landlord found a fighting pit and an injured dog in her basement.
August 2, 2007: Police arrested two men in Austin, TX, for dogfighting, and seized two dogs.
August 2007: In the first week of the month, officials arrested five people in Saginaw, Mich., for dogfighting and seized three dogs.
July 30, 2007: Officials arrested a man in Rochester, N.Y., for dogfighting and seized an injured pit bull.
July 30, 2007: Authorities raided a dogfighting operation in Tallahassee, Fla. They arrested one man and seized 32 dogs.
July 27, 2007: Police arrested three men in Philadelphia, Pa., on dogfighting charges. They seized four dogs.
July 27, 2007: In Beaufort County, S.C., law enforcement arrested a man on animal cruelty charges and are investigating him for dogfighting. Officials found three dead pit bulls in addition to 12 live dogs seized.
July 26, 2007: Brian Bailey, a prominent dogfighter who runs a transport company and has served prison time for dogfighting, was arrested with one other person in Burbank, Ill., while making a transport run. Officials seized 12 dogs.
July 19, 2007: Police in Houston, Texas, arrested one adult and a juvenile on dogfighting charges, using a confiscated videotape to identify the suspects. The video showed young children watching the dogfight.
July 18, 2007: Officials arrested a deputy sheriff in St. Martin's Parish, La., on charges related to dogfighting and seized more than a dozen dogs.
July 2007: In the last week of the month, police in Fort Pierce, Fla., arrested a man and seized 30 dogs from a suspected dogfighting operation.
ASPCA confirms role in the evaluation of dogs seized from Michael Vick's Surry County, VA, property. Read our official statement
AS VICK ACCEPTS PLEA AGREEMENT, THE ASPCA APPLAUDS THOROUGH FEDERAL INVESTIGATION
In a stunning turn of events, Michael Vick and three other codefendants have reversed their pleas, admitting to charges of conspiring to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
The ASPCA applauds the quick and thorough federal investigation by the U.S. Attorneys office and the USDA. Says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres: As an organization that supports law enforcement efforts against animal cruelty in several waysfrom having our own Humane Law Enforcement department in New York to contributing to the education and training of law enforcement and judicial officers around the country in prosecuting animal crueltywe salute the U.S. Attorneys office and the USDA in their dedication to pursuing this case. It sends a clear message to those engaged in animal cruelty that these acts are barbaric and unacceptable in a humane community.
The ASPCA has been assisting in the federal investigation of this case, but in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing criminal process, cannot offer any additional details at this time.
For more information on the ASPCAs response to recent events in the Michael Vick case, please read our latest press release. To learn more about how you can stay alert to animal cruelty, please visit our Anti-Cruelty Resource Center.
ASPCA Responds to News Reports of Michael Vick Accepting Plea Agreement: Applauds Swift and Thorough Federal Investigative Efforts
NEW YORK, August 20, 2007Responding to breaking news that NFL quarterback Michael Vick has accepted a plea agreement in his federal dog fighting case, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauded the thorough and speedy federal investigation into this case by the U. S. Attorneys office and the USDA.
Though dog fighting has been prevalent in this country for more than a century, it was only towards the end of the 20th century that it started to be regarded as a crime in the eyes of the law, said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres, which makes the strong federal investigation of this case all the more remarkable.
As an organization that supports law enforcement efforts against animal cruelty in several waysfrom having our own Humane Law Enforcement department in New York, to contributing to the education and training of law enforcement and judicial officers around the country in prosecuting animal crueltywe salute the U. S. Attorneys office and the USDA in their dedication to pursuing this case. It sends a clear message to those engaged in animal crueltythat these acts are barbaric and unacceptable in a humane community.
A little more than one month after Michael Vick and three other co-defendants pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities (Travel Act), and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture, in violation of federal law, they have all reversed their pleas, with Vick being the last to follow suita stunning reversal of events.
The ASPCA has been assisting in the federal investigation of this case; at this time it still cannot offer any additional details in order to protect the integrity of this investigation and the ongoing criminal process.
For more information on the ASPCA, or to learn more about staying alert to animal cruelty, please visit www.aspca.org/cruelty.