Michael Vick Indicted on Charges of Dog Fighting
Michael Vick, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, has been indicted on dog fighting charges. This follows news that dozens of pit bull type dogs were found at a Virgnia property owned by Vick and tips that Vick had been involved in dog fighting for several years and was one of the people involved with the Bad Newz Kennels. The Smoking Gun has a copy of the indictment and it is pretty damned disgusting.
The indictment claims that Vick and his codefendants killed no less than 8 dogs that either lost fights or failed fight tests. The method of killing ranged from electrocution, drowning, hanging to slamming a dog’s body to the ground until dead.
Vick and the other defendants — Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips and Tony Taylor — were involved in an ongoing animal fighting venture based out of Vick’s home in Smithfield, Va., from early 2001 to April 2007, according to a statement released by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Vick faces $350,000 in fines and six years in prison if convicted of the charges.
If Vick is guilty and if he does get the maximum sentence then he has gotten off lightly in my opinion. The methods of killing these poor dogs seem to have been selected to inflict the most pain and distress possible.
Now to be fair some of the more “sensational” items reported in the news aren’t all that big a deal to me. The “rape stand” strikes me as nothing really as American Pit Bull Terriers can be very dog aggressive (depends on the dog) and breeding them would be problematic at best. Also the claims of a “pry bar” (aka a “breaking stick”, “parting stick”) is also not much in the way of evidence either. I do not fight my American Pit Bull Terrier and the thought of doing so makes me sick, yet I own two breaking sticks. Since American Pit Bull Terriers are dog aggressive a fight can occur when you least suspect it and seperating the dogs can be difficult without a breaking stick (and I should note that using a breaking stick is safest for both the dog and the person seperating the dogs). The bloodied carpet on the other hand along with the collapsable fighting “pit” are indicative of fighting. The carpet is to give the dogs traction and the “pit” is often nothing more than pieces of plywood to create a wall around the carpet.
UPDATE (James Joyner): Steve beat me to it. Let me just add that watching Vick go from #1 overall draft pick to NFL’s the most exciting player to this has been surreal. What a waste of talent.
Bill Jempty has more at OTB Sports.