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ANNIVERSARY: Vick Dogfight Bust 5 Years Later, More Victims Saved Now?


1/20/11 - Above, Ellen gets a hug from caregiver Michelle Logan. Below, fight scars mark the face of Lucas, the grand champion of NFL player Michael Vick’s dogs. Ellen and Lucas are two of 13 pit bills slowly recovering at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, a world away from their lives chained, beaten and forced into fights as part of the dogfight enterprise bankrolled by Michael Vick. AP Photos/Julie Jacobson, Michael Vick dogs: The long road to health and happiness


As that dog lay on the ground, fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its back legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn't kill it. So, Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground until, at last, the little red dog was dead.

The Lost Dogs, a book by Jim Gorant
Senior Editor, Sports Illustrated


Michael Vick lives large after negotiating a Philadelphia Eagles deal with two-year option. Oozing regret, he pledges to "be part of the solution, not the problem." I’ve never heard Vick talk much about the dogs. Or what went through his head as he helped drown, hang, electrocute and bludgeon them. Is he sorry about the dog gasping for air while drowned? Haunted by a dog’s terror just before electrocution? Here’s the catch: You can spin it, forget it, turn it inside-out and backwards — but still come out with a sociopath.

Michael Vick In The Land Of Second Chances
by Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle
2012: 5 Years After Bad Newz Bust, Does Vick-Dog Precedent Help Dogfight Victims? spacer
Five years ago a label emerged from the edge of horror: Vick Dogs. They were invisible until a taskforce entered Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick’s property at 1915 Moonlight Road in April 2007. Law enforcers uncovered 66 live dogs, 55 of whom were pit bulls, along with carcasses in a mass canine grave. The NFL superstar bankrolled an illegal dogfight operation, "Bad Newz Kennels," from his estate. Court papers later showed that Vick helped electrocute, hang and drown underperforming dogs.

Vick’s refugees, confiscated as living "property" of the U.S. government, occupied the nation’s heart and mind. Some rallied for Vick himself, crying "race card." But more, it seems, wept for the dogs. Michael Vick could have been green for all we cared. He abused Snoopy and we wanted to nail him.

Months of litigation landed Vick and his Bad Newz cohorts in prison. Justice served, sort of. Animal activists and lovers felt penalities didn’t match torture inflicted. But what about the dogs’ future? A lesser known destiny awaits seized dogs. If they somehow survive life at the end of a short chain…gory drills and scrimmages…blood loss, shock, dehydration, infection, ears gnawed to bloody stubs and faces so cut up they cannot breathe…most are killed by their "rescuers."

Pre-Vick, fight dogs were considered impossible to rehabilitate and almost always euthanized. Indeed from April to October 2007, Vick Dogs languished in Virginia pounds, caged in dark solitude until an anticipated court order to destroy them arrived. Only Leo lucked out with a shelter eager to salvage a Vick Dog.

Perhaps their notoriety saved them. A landmark decision by U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson let the dogs live and relocate to no-kill rescue organizations that specialize in rehab for traumatized/aggressive dogs. During the wait, Bad Rap — a California based nonprofit formed to secure the future of the American Pit Bull Terrier as a cherished family companion — worked with court-appointed Guardian-Special Master of the dogs, Professor Rebecca J. Huss, to deter doggie meltdown.

Bad Rap writes that "Huss created safe passage for then volunteer Nicole Rattay to fly to Virginia and sit with every sheltered Vick Dog and offer comfort and measured enrichments. That basic care began over 6 months into their difficult wait. Most of the 10 dogs we [later] received showed post traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Many assume Vick’s torture damaged them. But post-seizure conditions took the heaviest toll on younger dogs from Bad Newz Kennels. Uba, Iggy, Frodo and even agility star Audie still need reassurances from adoptive guardians in 2012."

Even so, Vick Dog stories have happy endings. Moreover, the animals and their heroic rehabilitators proved that true mercy doesn’t always require a euthanasia needle. In the last 5 years, it’s become commonplace for fight-damaged dogs "to attract public support, kennel enrichment and aid during their legal wait," Bad Rap notes. "District Attorneys now have a pile of precedents to educate the courts and coordinate release to rescue. In some ways, saving a dog from a fight bust is an in-vogue badge of honor for rescue groups, deservedly so."

While court-mandated euthanasia is no longer a given, some regions still rely on local laws laced with prejudcial language toward dogfight victims. Dogs held from a 2010 fight case at the Gadsden County, Florida Shelter literally "died at the feet" of Bad Rap volunteers. Indifference to the suffering of "just pit bulls," caused Bad Rap to question whether these dogs had better odds with the dogfighter than the shelter. However, in 2011 Florida retracted a law that had dubbed all confiscated dogs "dangerous," based on the efforts of Ledy VanKavage Of Best Friends Animal Society.

The Vick-Dog precedent helped educate courts of Richland County, Louisiana, where an unclear state law usually leaves fight-dog decisions up to an individual judge’s attitude about dogs/pit bulls. At first, law enforcers rejected Bad Rap’s offer to help. But eventually Tallulah, Gris-Gris, Catfish Jones and Benny were released to their program.

Bad Rap and National Animal Control Association agree that swift intervention is vital. Animal cruelty survivors ought to undergo immediate behavior evaluation, with support from rescue groups qualified to rehabilitate and transition them toward adoption.

Americans love anniversaries. At the 5-year mark from history’s most infamous dogfight bust, Vick Dogs continue to enlighten us. They reflect the worst in human greed and cruelty. They also signify a doorway to hope for more like them.

After seizure, Vick survivor Zippy lived in this barren pound. Bad Rap says vet care was "spare to nonexistent and enrichments such as chew toys didn’t happen." Photo from Bad Rap - Vick dogs: 5 years post-seizure. Has the cruelty ended?

When dogs were in limbo between seizure and release, their court appointed Guardian-Special Master, Professor Rebecca Huss, arranged for Bad Rap volunteer Nicole Rattay (in photo with Iggy) to fly to Virginia and sit with each dog to offer comfort. Photo from Bad Rap, a Calif. based group focusing on pit bull type dogs and issues that affect them.
spacer My lengthy conversation with the state prosecutor in the dogfight case against Michael Vick
Brenda Shoss, director/founder, Kinship Circle
As the Michael Vick dogfight case unfolds in federal court — with evidence of dog electrocutions, drownings, even pitching family pets into the ring for a laugh — the global public is shocked over deal-making that could land the defendant less than 1 year prison time. Meanwhile, the state’s case against Vick is hampered by withheld evidence and testimony. Federal prosecutors have sequestered evidence, including seized dogs, fight gear, etc. They’ve also placed key witnesses under federal protection.

Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter told Kinship Circle’s Brenda Shoss: "I don't know how to communicate with witnesses essential to my case."

8/20/07 - To confirm contact information for this alert, I phoned the office of Gerald Poindexter, Virginia Commonwealth Attorney — and the prosecutor in the state case against Michael Vick. I expected to speak to an administrative assistant or go to voicemail. Instead, I got Mr. Poindexter himself. And he wanted to talk. A lot.

I was surprised by his candor. During the hour we spoke, I came to represent the Vick-appalled public, in a case that has thrown animal rights activists, civil rights activists, sports fans, dog lovers…into heated debate. Everyone has a an opinion about Michael Vick, much of it shouted with passionate conviction. Mr. Poindexter wants anti-Vick voices to know: His office very much wants to prosecute Michael Vick for dogfighting, animal cruelty, and killing dogs (a felony in Virginia).
spacer Mr. Poindexter has been inundated with hate mail from those who do not want Vick prosecuted and accuse him of "playing the race card." He asked me to let you, the animal advocacy public, know:

  • The fact Vick pled guilty today and struck a deal in in federal court does not effect the state’s case in Surry, Virginia.

  • The Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s office wants to conduct its own comprehensive investigation.

  • While Virginia has probable cause to believe crimes were committed and that Vick, plus 3 codefendants, can be convicted — the state has been unable to complete its investigation. Why?


Federal prosecutors have placed main witnesses in a federal protection program. So the state has no access to eyewitness testimony. Surry County, Virginia evidence — including custody of 54 confiscated dogs, dogfight exercise equipment, etc. — has been relinquished to federal investigators.

"They [federal agents] hold the upper hand in the sense I don’t know how to communicate with witnesses essential to my case," Mr. Poindexter told me. "I am effectively at an impasse for physical evidence to build a case on. But, this won’t last. I believe federal authorities will eventually cooperate and we will be able to proceed."
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Facts & Players In Sick-Vick Case
  • FEDERAL CONVICTION: Conspiracy in interstate commerce/aid of unlawful animal fighting (Title 18, USC, Section 371).
  • STATE CONVICTION: Unlawfully torturing and killing dogs, promoting dogfights.
  • ANIMAL VICTIMS: 53 pitbulls seized, 12 pitbulls killed.
spacer MICHAEL DWAYNE VICK, 27, a.k.a "Ookie" or "Ron Mexico"
  • Crime: Felony Dogfigting
  • Where: Smithfield, VA in Surry County
  • Penalties: In the federal case, pled guilty to dogfighting conspiracy and served 21 months of 23-month sentence at Leavenworth, KS prison + 2 months home confinement. Fined $928,000 for care of seized dogs. In Surry County Circuit Court (state case) pled guilty to 1 dogfighting count and given 3-year suspended sentence.

4/2007: A taskforce enters Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick’s property at 1915 Moonlight Rd. Law enforcers uncover 3 structures with neglected dogs inside. Initially on-site for a drug search after Vick’s cousin, Davon Boddie, submitted the address in an arrest — investigators find 66 live dogs, 55 of whom are pit bulls, and 17 dead dogs. Vick allegedly runs a dogfight operation, Bad Newz Kennels, from his estate. Virginia Animal Fighting Taskforce is summoned to investigate illegal animal fighting, a felony in Virginia with up to 5 years prison and $2,500 in fines. Vick shifts blame to relatives, stating that he doesn’t occupy the home he owns. He later confesses to bankrolling Bad Newz Kennels and funding dogfight bets. Court papers show that Vick helped electrocute, hang or drown underperforming dogs.
spacer PURNELL AUGUSTA PEACE, 35, a.k.a. "P-Funk" or "Funk"
  • Crime: Felony Dogfigting
  • Where: Smithfield, VA in Surry County
  • Penalties: 18 months in prison, 3 years probation, $250,000 fine.

Authorities say Vick and Peace bought approximately four pit bull puppies from an unidentified cooperating witness in Virginia in 2002. He and Vick also "rolled" or "tested" some of their dogs in short fights, authorities say. In 2002, the indictment says, Peace allegedly executed a dog who did not perform well. Peace was charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and "to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture." He was released from federal custody on January 6, 2009.
spacer QUANIS LAVELL PHILLIPS, 28, a.k.a "Q"
  • Crime: Felony Dogfigting
  • Where: Smithfield, VA in Surry County
  • Penalties: 21 months in prison, 3 years probation, $250,000 fine.

Quanis Phillips, along with Michael Vick and defendant Tony Taylor, purchased four pit bull puppies for approximately $1,000 in Sept, 2001 from someone in Williamsburg, according to the indictment. In 2002, he allegedly executed at least one dog who did not perform well in a test fight. Phillips was charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and "to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture." Among codefendants, Phillips got more jail time due to failing a drug test as he awaited trial. He was released in Feb, 2009. In 2011, he was sent back to jail for violating federal probation.
spacer TONY TAYLOR, 34, a.k.a "T"
  • Crime: Felony Dogfigting
  • Where: Smithfield, VA in Surry County
  • Penalties: 2 months federal prison in Lewisburg, PA.

Tony Taylor found the 1915 Moonlight Road property to house and train dogs for illegal fights. Court papers claim he aided in purchase of four pit bulls in September 2001. In 2002, he executed at least 2 dogs who underperformed in mock fights. Though similarly charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and for sponsoring a dog in an animal fighting venture, Taylor’s cooperation with federal officials (which led to Vick’s conviction) earned him the lightest sentence. Taylor was first to plead guilty. He was released in 2008.
spacer OSCAR ALLEN, 67, a.k.a "Virginia O"
  • Crime: Felony Dogfigting
  • Where: Smithfield, VA in Surry County
  • Penalties: 3 years probation, $500 fine.

In 2001, Oscar Allen sold a female pit bull, Jane, to Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels enterprise. Allen, of Williamsburg, VA, pled guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to aid in illegal gambling and to sponsor a dog in animal fighting. In his plea agreement, Allen admitted joining Vick colleagues at dogfights. He provided dog management/care tips and helped coordinate test fights to assess stamina and ultimately cull weak dogs. Prosecutors claimed he had no part in actual killings. Allen evaded maximum prison and fines due to cooperation with investigators. He had no prior criminal record and played a comparatively minor role in Vick’s dogfighting ring.
  • Assistant U.S. attorneys Michael R. Gill and Brian L. Whisler represent U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Gill joined the Richmond office in 2005 after more than five years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas. Whisler joined the office in 2002 after serving as an assistant in the Western District of North Carolina from 1993 to 2002.

  • U.S. Magistrate Dennis W. Dohnal, 61, will conduct the bond hearing. A native of Cleveland, he is a graduate of the George Washington Law Center and came to Richmond as an assistant U.S. attorney in 1971. He entered private practice in 1974 and was appointed to bench in January 2000.

  • U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, 60, conducts arraignment. Hudson, a 1974 graduate of American University Law School, was assistant commonwealth attorney in Arlington from 1974-1979, assistant U.S. attorney 1978 to 1979, in private practice in 1979, 1991-1992, 1994- 1998…

  • Vick is represented by Lawrence Hunter Woodward Jr., 50, of Virginia Beach. A Radford native, Woodward is a 1982 graduate of the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond and is an experienced criminal trial lawyer. His firm’s website says Woodward has negotiated endorsement and team contracts valued at hundreds of millions of dollars for NFL and NBA players and is certified as an agent with the NFL and NBA.

  • Peace is represented by Claire G. Cardwell, 49, of Richmond. Cardwell is a 1984 graduate of T.C. Williams School of Law at University of Richmond with extensive experience in criminal defense work in state and federal courts. She was in private practice 1984 to 1994 and chief deputy commonwealth attorney in Richmond 1994 to 2002.
  • Phillips is represented by Franklin Alex Swartz, 68, of Norfolk. Swartz is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and practices criminal and personal injury law. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1964. He was a captain in the Army from 1964 to 1966 and an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Norfolk from 1968 to 1970.

  • Phillips also is represented by Jeffrey A. Swartz, 45, a native of Charlottesville and a 1987 graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. He has handled criminal cases in state and federal courts and is a former prosecutor in Norfolk.

  • Taylor is represented by Stephen Ashton Hudgins, 52, a Newport News native and 1981 graduate of T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. He primarily practices criminal law in state/federal courts and has been in private practice his entire career.

  • The state of Virginia proceeds with separate charges from its own investigation. Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that "yes, indeed, we will prosecute" Vick and others on possible animal cruelty and dogfighting charges, felonies in Virginia with animal cruelty charges holding penalties of up to five years in jail for each animal killed. "The execution of these animals — and the manner in which they were executed — is startlingly offensive and demanding of prosecution," Poindexter told the newspaper.

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8/14/09, Kinship Circle Blog:
Michael Vick In The Land Of Second Chances
By Brenda Shoss — "Michael Vick acknowledges having done ’some terrible things,’" even as he signs to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the land of Second Chances, Michael Vick lives large after negotiating an one-year deal with a second-year option. Oozing regret, he promises to "be part of the solution and not the problem." Somewhere, a publicist works overtime. Or does Vick’s remorseful cup really runneth over?

I have never heard Michael Vick talk much about the dogs. Or what went through his head as he helped drown, hang, electrocute and bludgeon them. Is he "sorry" about the dog gasping for air while drowned? I wonder if he is haunted by a dog’s terror just before electrocution. What did it feel like to twist flesh and bone until it snapped?

In fact, I would like to know exactly WHAT he is sorry for: The brutal torture of individuals who happen to be dogs OR getting caught? Does he repent for the lives he stole OR the promising career he sabotaged? Does he seek forgiveness for forcing dogs to fight OR for the shame he caused family and fans?

A news story concludes: "Vick, who said he has no more pets, said he planned to actively work in the community and the humane society to prove he can help more animals than he’s hurt."

Here’s the catch: You can spin it, forget it, turn it inside-out and backwards — but, Michael Vick is still a predator. The day he breaks down beneath the unbearable weight of what he’s done, I may believe he is capable of empathy. When he suffers night sweats and flashbacks, I may believe he is capable of compassion.

Until then, I see a sociopath dressed in save-face clothing.


Michael Vick and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid during a news conference. The Eagles gave Vick a one-year deal with an option for a second year. Photo by Matt Rourke/Associated Press, 8/14/09

Philadelphia Eagles Michael Vick stands on the sidelines in the first quarter against New York Giants, 12/19/10. Photo UPI/John Angelillo
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Of 48 American Pit Bull Terriers in Vick’s civil forfeiture case, 47 are recommended for placement with rescue groups by Law Professor Rebecca Huss, the dogs’ court appointed Guardian-Special Master. One was euthanized for medical issues. Photos above from Bad Rap, one group that took in Vick-tims.

Leo now comforts cancer patients as a therapy dog. Press photo,
spacer 7/30/09, Kinship Circle Blog:
Welcome Back Michael Vick?
By Brenda Shoss — "On 7/20/09, Michael Vick completed a 23-month sentence for crimes associated with his dogfight ring, Bad Newz Kennels. Legally, Vick paid his debt to society for "conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting enterprise."

But Vick did not just fight dogs. He murdered them. When dogs lost their "game" Vick and his Bad Newz cronies drowned, strangled, hung, shot and electrocuted dogs.

Think about it: How much brute force does it take to submerge a pit bull’s head in a 5-gallon bucket of water until he drowns? The dog is brawny, trained to fight back…and frantic. Vick, Purnell Peace, and Quanis Phillips held a dog’s head underwater until his last breath. How long did it take to kill this way — 5, 10 or more minutes?

Sometimes they slammed a dog against the ground until dead. Only a sadist could hoist a heavy animal, biting and kicking, into the air and pound him over and over. Vick was consulted to kill one dog "by wetting the dog down with water and electrocuting the animal." This requires planning. No simple gun shot to the head here. Instead, a massive electrical jolt to induce excruciating heart attack.

On occasion, Vick, Peace and Phillips noosed dogs from trees on Vick’s property. Those who survived strangulation (how many hours did they hang and choke?) were pulled down and plunged in water until dead.

Michael Vick now repents. He’s even merged with Humane Society of the U.S. to tackle urban dogfight rings run by the very youths who idolize him.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell feels the love too. About a week after Vick’s release, Goodell green-lighted the quarterback’s NFL reinstatement. That means Michael Vick is back, on a field near you, as early as October 2009.

Goodell wrote to Vick: "I accept that you want to, and will, turn your life around, and that you intend to be a positive role model for others. I am prepared to offer you that opportunity. Whether you succeed is entirely in your hands."

Michael Vick is guilty of more than bad choices. He took life. And while he may seek to turn his own around, those he killed get no second chances.

So hand him a microphone. Sign him to the team. Still, you can’t fix sociopath.

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6/13/09: Atlanta Falcons Bid Michael Vick Final Farewell
SUMMARY — Less than five years after the Atlanta Falcons signed Michael Vick to a $130 million contract, the suspended quarterback was released in a 98-word statement. Vick is eligible to immediately sign with a team even though he has yet to be reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell has said he will sit down with Vick after the quarterback completes his 23-month sentence on 7/20/09 for running a dogfight ring… NEWS SOURCE:


5/19/09: HSUS & Michael Vick Team Up Against Dogfights?
SUMMARY — Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of Humane Society of the United States recently broke ranks with much of the animal rights community and forged a partnership with Michael Vick to eradicate dogfighting among youths. The HSUS position has nothing to do with endorsing Vick’s return to football but rather, with finding a way to use his visibility to fight the scourge of dogfighting, which Pacelle said is gaining popularity with African-American and Hispanic teenagers in urban areas where HSUS has begun anti-dogfight initiatives… NEWS SOURCES: Humane Society Sees Vick as an Ally, Not a Pariah • Vick to work with Humane Society


2/26/09: Jailed Dogfighter Michael Vick Goes Home In May?
SUMMARY —  Michael Vick has been approved for release to home confinement, possibly as soon as 5/21/09 rather than originally scheduled for July. The NFL quarterback is serving a 23-month federal prison sentence in Leavenworth, Kansas, for his role in a dogfight operation at his home in Virginia. Vick would be on electronic monitoring and permitted to leave home only for activities his probation officer approves. He remains on NFL suspension. Commissioner Roger Goodell has to rule on Vick’s eligibility to play. Vick is still under contract to the Atlanta Falcons but the team says it intends to trade him… NEWS SOURCE: Vick Approved For Home Confinement


11/21/08: Vick Allegedly Threw "Family Pets" In Ring Too
SUMMARY — Michael Vick put family animals in rings with pit bulls and thought it was funny to watch trained killers injure or kill helpless dogs. In a 17-page report filed 8/28/08 by U.S. Agriculture Dept. case agent James Knorr and released under the Freedom of Information Act, "confidential witness No. 1" said Vick placed pets against pit bulls in the ring at least twice and watched as the pit bulls "caused major injuries…" NEWS SOURCE: Vick put family pets in ring


11/21/08: Vick Pleads Guilty In State Case, Gets No-Jail Deal
SUMMARY — Vick pled guilty to a state dogfight charge in a Virginia. Under plea agreement, he received a 3- year suspended prison term and $2,500 fine for attending, sponsoring and participating in dogfights. A charge of cruelty to animals with prejudice was dismissed. He also received 4 years probation. State charges carried a maximum 10 year sentence . With his state case done, he is eligible for Federal Bureau of Prisons re-entry program which could mean early release to a halfway house… NEWS SOURCE: Vick enters guilty plea, gets suspended sentence


6/18/08: Vick Dogfight Referee Jailed + Leo Has His Day
SUMMARY — Terry Kendrick, who sometimes refereed fights involving Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation has been sentenced to 3-1/2 years prison… Leo is a lover, not a fighter. Rescued from heavy chains that confined him as part of NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfight ring — Leo now happily frolics in a clown collar as he brings comfort to cancer patients in chemotherapy at Camino Infusion Center. Six months ago, Leo should have been dead. When officers raided Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Smithfield, VA, they found dogs chained to buried car axles, injured and scarred. Forensic experts discovered remains of dogs shot with a .22-caliber pistol, electrocuted, drowned, hanged or slammed to the ground for lacking desire to fight… NEWS SOURCE: Beaten Down Dog From Vick Case Has His Day


Dec-Jan 2007: The Dogs That Vick Hurt
SUMMARY — A quick survey of Georgia, a caramel-colored pit bull mix with cropped ears and soulful brown eyes, offers a road map to a difficult life. Her tongue juts from the left side of her mouth because her jaw, once broken, healed at an awkward angle. Her tail zigzags. Scars from puncture wounds on her face, legs and torso reveal that she was a fighter. Her misshapen, dangling teats show that she might have been such a successful, vicious competitor who she was forcibly bred again and again. But there is one haunting sign that Georgia might have endured the most abuse of any of the 47 surviving pit bulls seized from the property of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick — Georgia has no teeth. All 42 of them were pried from her mouth, most likely to ensure she couldn’t harm male dogs during forced breeding… John Garcia, a caregiver at Best Friends Sanctuary, tries to teach abused dogs to trust people. Ellen doesn’t look like a top-fight dog. She wags her tail and gives kisses to anyone who greets her. But the deep scars on her face are permanent reminders of her violent past… NEWS SOURCE: Given Reprieve, Fallen NFL Star’s Dogs Find Kindness


12/10/07: Vick Sentence - 23 Months Jail For Dogfight Crimes
SUMMARY — Michael Vick was sentenced to prison for running a dogfight operation and will stay there longer than two codefendants, up to 23 months. The disgraced NFL star received a harsher sentence than others in the federal conspiracy case because of "less than truthful" statements about killing pit bulls. Dogs who failed to meet performance expectations were killed by electrocution, hanging, drowning and other violent means. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said evidence, including codefendant statements, showed Vick was directly involved. "He did more than fund it," prosecutor Michael Gill said, referring to the Bad Newz Kennels dogfight operation. "He was in this thing up to his neck…" NEWS SOURCE: Associated Press


Dec-Jan 2007: Vick Dogs: You Helped Save Their Lives
SUMMARY — Of 48 remaining American Pit Bull Terriers in the Michael Vick civil forfeiture case, 47 are recommended for placement with rescue groups, with many likely eligible for future adoption by the public. Recommendations were made by Valparaiso University School of Law Professor Rebecca J. Huss, court appointed Guardian-Special Master of the dogs. One dog was apparently euthanized for medical issues. The 8 organizations are:

  • Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah - 22 dogs
  • BAD RAP, Oakland, California - 10 dogs
  • Richmond Animal League, Richmond Virginia - 4 dogs
  • Georgia S.P.C.A., Suwanee, Georgia - 3 dogs
  • SPCA of Monterey County, California - 3 dogs
  • Recycled Love, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland - 3 dogs
  • Animal Rescue of Tidewater, Chesapeake, Virginia - 1 dog
  • Our Pack, Inc. - 1 dog

SOURCE: Wayne Johnson,
Tom Shaer Media, Inc., 224-305-2551,


Kinship Circle produced and circulated more than 20 Michael Vick dogfighting alerts from 2007 when the case broke…through 2009, as defendants were released from prison. Below are several archived alerts at external links.


1/18/12: A benefit book launch hosted 3 former Michael Vick dogs. The dogs appear in photographer Melissa McDaniel’s book, "Pit Bulls & Pit Bull Type Dogs - 82 Dogs the Media Doesn’t Want You to Meet." Photo Canine Celebrity Survivors of Michael Vick DogFight Operation Greet Public in Pacifica, CA

Berenice Clifford of Animal Farm Foundation with Rose, a Vick Dog who Bad Rap says suffered terribly post-seizure with no vet care for an internal injury. The interim neglect led to a health crisis and Rose was euthanized once released. "Her face still haunts each of us who met her," Bad Rap writes. Photo: Bad Rap

A Vick Dog is soothed, the worst of his ordeal finally behind him. Photo from Bad Rap

John Garcia, a caregiver at the Best Friends Sanctuary, tries to teach abused dogs to trust people.

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Kinship Circle has issued more than 20 Michael Vick alerts. His legal punishment phase is over. We cannot exhaust more limited resources in action campaigns about Michael Vick. However, don't let us stop you! PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR OWN THOUGHTS in an email, fax, call or letter to the contacts provided.

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web form:
Brian Roberts, CEO, Comcast Corporate Office
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
ph: 215-286-8960, email:

Heineken USA, Corporate Office
360 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 1103
White Plains, NY 10601
web form:

Motorola, Inc.
1303 East Algonquin Road
Schaumburg, Illinois 60196
ph: 847-576-5000
web form:

American Red Cross
web form:

Tasty Baking Company
Navy Yard Corporate Center
Three Crescent Drive, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19112
ph: 215-221-8500
web form:
Chad Ramsey, Vice President:

AAA Mid-Atlantic
One River Place
Wilmington, DE 19801
web form:

Comcast SportsNet
3601 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
ph: 215-336-3500, email:

Idearc Media Corporate Headquarters
2200 W. Airfield Drive, P.O. Box 619810
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9810
web form:
Idearc Media LLC, Attn: Customer Service
P.O. Box 987
Lanham, Maryland 20703-0987
ph: 800-555-4833
web form:

Papa John's International, Inc.
P.O. Box 99900
Louisville, KY 40269-9990
web form:

RE/MAX International Inc.
5075 S. Syracuse Street
Denver, Co. 80237
ph: 303-770-5531, fax: 303-796-3599

TEVA, Corporate Headquarters
5 Basel St., Petach Tikva 49131, Israel
ph: 972-3-9267267, fax: 972-3-9234050
web form:
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
ph: 215-591-3000, toll free: 888 TEVA USA (838-2872)

Customer Service: 1-800-992-3522
web form: act.asp

Dietz & Watson, Inc.
Butch Dietz
5701 Tacony Street
Philadelphia, PA 19135
ph: 1-800-333-1974, fax: 215-831-8719
Product Information:
Sales Information:
Comments about website:
spacer Independence Blue Cross
1901 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103–1480
Philadelphia area: 215-636-9559, outside area: 800-555-1514
Member Inquiries: member_inquiries...
Non-Member Inquiries: nonmember_inquiries...

web form: id=pepcid/include/

Rite Aid Corporation
Board of Directors c/o Corporate Secretary
P.O. Box 3165
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Rite Aid Home Office
30 Hunter Lane
Camp Hill, PA 17011
ph: 717-761-2633
web form:

Best Buy Corporate Customer Care
P.O. Box 9312
Minneapolis , MN 55440
ph: 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289)
web form: id=cat12104&type=page

Dunkin Donuts
Will Kussell, President & Chief Brand Officer
C/O Corporate Headquarters Dunkin' Brands
130 Royall Street
Canton, Massachusetts 02021
ph: 781-737-3000
web form:

Chrysler Group LLC Customer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 21-8004
Auburn Hills, MI 48321-8004
ph: 1-800-992-1997
web form: universal/ J/ index.jsp? appStr=wccs&titleStr =Contact+Jeep...

The Original Philadelphia Cheesesteak Company
520 East Hunting Park Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19124
ph: 215-423-3333, 800-342-9771, 215-423-0101

SCA Americas
2929 Arch Street, Suite 2600
Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
ph: 610 499 3700, fax: 610 499 3391
SCA brands:

CJ's Tires
web form:

The Gatorade Company
P.O. Box 049003
Chicago, IL 60604-9003
toll free: 1-800-88-GATOR (1-800-884-2867)
web form: date=20090814

KFC Corporate, Comments
P.O. Box 725489
Atlanta, GA 31139
USA: 1-800-225-5532, Canada: 1-866-664-5696
web form:

Taco Bell
17901 Von Karman
Irvine, CA 92614
ph: 949-863-4500, fax: 949-863-2252
web form:

Pennsylvania Lottery
700 Packer Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
ph: 215-952-1123, fax: 215-952-1134
web form: cgi-bin/ lottery...

900 King Street
Ryebrook, NY 10573
ph: 914-612-4000, toll free: 800-762-7753, fax: 914-612-4100
web form:

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
111 South 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
ph: 215-955-6000
web form:

Chrysler Group LLC Customer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 21-8004
Auburn Hills, MI 48321-8004
ph: 1-800-992-1997
web form: wccsapp/universal/ C/index.jsp...

GEICO Corporate Office
Government Employees Insurance Company
One GEICO Plaza
Washington, DC 20076
GEICO Mid-Atlantic Region (DE, DC, MD, PA, WV)
Government Employees Insurance Company
One GEICO Blvd.
Fredericksburg, VA 22412
web form:

Master Card
2000 Purchase Street
Purchase, NY 10577, USA
ph: 914-249-2000
Regional Headquarters, 2000 Purchase Street
Purchase, NY 10577
USA: 914-249-2000
Regional Offices: global_locations.html

The Philadelphia Inquirer
P.O. Box 8263
Philadelphia, Pa. 19101
ph: 215-854-2000
web form:

Philadelphia Daily News
P.O. Box 7788
Philadelphia, PA 19101
City Editor Gar Joseph:
Opinion, Sandra Shea:
Sports, Josh Barnett:
web form:

601 Office Center Drive
Fort Washington, PA 19034
ph: 215-273-7000, fax: 215-273-4030
web form:

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educational literature

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DISCLAIMER: Information in these materials is verified with original source. Kinship Circle does not assume responsibility for accuracy of information or for consequences of its use. Nothing on this website intends to encourage illegal action in whatever country you are reading it in. Kinship Circle does not engage in, nor support, any form of harassment or unlawful action. Nothing in this alert serves to promote such conduct.

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