Skip to comments.Taxpayers spared hit from Michael Vick's dogfighting misdeeds (He'll pay for dogs' upkeep / Euthan.)
Posted on 09/01/2007 6:24:48 PM PDT by Stoat
Saturday, September 1st 2007, 7:41 PM
"That's one more cost of the (Michael) Vick case and these cases," says Goodwin. "These animal-control centers are municipal buildings funded by the government, so the taxpayer gets hit as a result."
In the case of Vick, the disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback who pleaded guilty last week to bankrolling a dogfighting ring and helping kill underperforming dogs, part of the 27-year-old's plea agreement calls for him to "make restitution for the full amount of the costs associated with the disposition of all dogs." That includes paying for "the long-term care and/or the humane euthanasia of some or all" of the 53 dogs seized from Vick's Smithfield, Va. property back in April.
Thursday, the Daily News had an up-close visit with 11 of those dogs - all pit bulls - which have been held at the Hanover County (Va.) Animal Control facility, north of Richmond, for the past three weeks. Originally, the dogs were placed in a Surry County shelter, but limited space and resources required the dogs be spread out among shelters throughout eastern and southeastern Virginia.
Commander Sergeant Kevin Kilgore, chief of the Hanover facility for the past 15 years, told the News that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) maintains custody of the 11 dogs and may have a decision on their fate as early as this week. Even though several of the 11 pit bulls wagged their tails or showed signs of affection in their cramped cages, Kilgore is pessimistic about their fate.
"They're doomed because of their genetics, which is supported by the training to be fighters," Kilgore says. "All dogs have a prey drive. If these (Vick) dogs were allowed to run loose, these dogs may have a prey drive kick in," posing a danger to other dogs or worse - children and families.
Goodwin says that dog behavior experts will assist the USDA in making a decision if the Vick dogs - five females and six males - are suitable for adoption, but "generally fighting dogs are not suitable for adoption.
"They were bred to kill other dogs," says Goodwin. "They're very dangerous."
And Kilgore adds that even if a well-skilled dog handler were to adopt a dog trained to dogfight, there is the greater concern of how the dog would react in a community. Hormones, protecting territory, the sight of other dogs and loud noises are just some of the aspects that could trigger a violent reaction from a dog who has been abused or mistreated.
I'm guessing that if any are ever allowed for adoption, they will become a superhot commodity in certain sectors of society's underbelly, as the cachet of owning "one of Vick's killer dogs" would be regarded as a status symbol among some.
Thankfully, the taxpayers will apparently be spared a little pain in all of this mess which has very few positive aspects other than the fact that it's pretty much been drawn to a close..
I have some sympathy for the dogs. They are guilty of nothing, but they will have to be put to death anyway.
Agreed. I can't see how they can be given to a new owner now. The State would face astronomical liability issues if any of those dogs were to have the slightest misstep.
It's a tragedy all 'round.
I hope Vick is bankrupted. He deserves no less.
Although I share your sentiment, I wish that this whole business would do a bit more. I wish that somehow the low-class gang culture that has been seeping into pro football and other pro sports for some time now could be made to disappear. I have no idea how to do this other than for the teams to get rid of the black jerseys and update their codes of conduct.
“I have no idea how to do this other than for the teams to get rid of the black jerseys and update their codes of conduct.”
That should be a priority. The NFL has really fallen from what it used to be.