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Post Info TOPIC: Football Player Arrested for Fighting With Dogs

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Football Player Arrested for Fighting With Dogs

Drug probe leads to Vick property

Police discover dozens of injured, emaciated dogs

Posted: Thursday April 26, 2007 6:03PM; Updated: Thursday April 26, 2007
SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) -- Police conducting a drug investigation raided a
house owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and found dozens
of dogs, some injured and emaciated.

Police also found items associated with dog fighting.

State Police Sgt. D.S. Carr said Vick's relative, Davon Boddie, 26, lives
in the house. Vick owns the property, but doesn't live there and wasn't
present when a search warrant was executed in a drug investigation
Wednesday night, Carr said.

Boddie was arrested outside a nightclub by Hampton police April 20 on
charges of distribution of marijuana and possession with intent to
distribute. The search warrant was executed by a multijurisdictional task
force in a narcotics probe.

More than 60 dogs were found in three buildings. Some appeared
malnourished, scarred and injured, officials said.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United
States, said the group has "heard troubling reports for some time that
Michael Vick has been involved in organized dog fighting, and we fear that
this investigation may validate that very disturbing allegation."

"We urge law enforcement to aggressively investigate this matter, and we
further believe that anyone who harbors dogs for the purpose of fighting,
deserves to be fully prosecuted for their crimes," Pacelle said in a
statement. "Dog fighting is a barbaric activity that causes immense animal
suffering and fosters violence in our communities. Our nation should have
a zero tolerance policy for any form of staged animal fighting."

The Humane Society said dog fighting is illegal nationwide and a felony in
48 states, including both Virginia and Georgia.

The animal rights group PETA has asked Falcons owner Arthur Blank to
suspend Vick pending the investigation and "to kick him off the team if it
is found that dogs on Vick's property were neglected or used for fighting."

In a letter to Blank, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it
was the second time it was writing to the owner about one of his players
and allegations of cruelty to animals. On Feb. 23, the organization wrote
to him about defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux's felony charges in
Georgia stemming from the fatal beating of a dog.

Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said the team still was gathering
information on the report and had no immediate comment.

A spokeswoman for Vick's foundation declined comment. Joel Segal, the
quarterback's agent, and Larry Woodward, a Virginia attorney who has
worked with both Vick and his younger brother, Marcus, didn't immediately
return telephone messages seeking comment.

The probe at Vick's property is the latest in a serious of embarrassing
incidents for the Atlanta quarterback.

He was named in a sordid lawsuit that accused him of knowingly infecting a
woman with a sexually transmitted disease and using the alias "Ron Mexico"
while seeking treatment. The case was settled out of court.

Last season, Vick flashed an obscene hand gesture to heckling Atlanta fans
as he walked off the field following a dismal loss to New Orleans. He was
fined $10,000 by the NFL and donated another $10,000 to charity.

In January, security officers at Miami International Airport seized a
water bottle from Vick that they said smelled of marijuana and had a
hidden compartment. Authorities later said there were no drugs in the
bottle, and Vick explained that he used the secret compartment to carry

Just this week, Vick came under more criticism when he failed to show for
a lobbying appearance on Capitol Hill in support of increased funding for
after-school programs. He missed a connecting flight in Atlanta and didn't
turn up for a later flight.

Vick and two other former Virginia Tech stars -- Falcons cornerback
DeAngelo Hall and former Buffalo Bills defensive end Bruce Smith -- are
scheduled to join Hokies football coach Frank Beamer and NFL commissioner
Roger Goodell in a predraft ceremony in New York on Saturday to honor the
victims of the recent shooting at the Blacksburg school.

Other athletes have been linked to dog fighting.

The NBA's Qyntel Woods pleaded guilty in January 2005 to animal abuse and
was sentenced to probation and community service, in addition to pledging
$10,000 to the Oregon Humane Society. Former NFL player LeShon Johnson has
twice run afoul of the law for ties to dogfighting.

  Christina Ghimenti
PawPrint Boxers
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