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Pit bulls in Vick case likely to be euthanized

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (May 23, 2007) -- Dozens of dogs seized in an investigation into possible dogfighting on land owned by Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick likely would be euthanized if investigators determine they are fighting dogs, the Humane Society said.

"Almost 100 percent" of animals seized in dogfighting investigations are euthanized because they have a level of aggression that makes them dangerous pets and neighbors, said John Goodwin, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States.

"It's simply not fair to someone who has a black lab or a Yorkie to have a fighting dog next door because if that dog gets loose, he's going to ... kill that person's pet," Goodwin said, making it clear he was speaking in generic terms only.

He did not have specific information about the dogs taken from Vick's home.

Sixty-six dogs, 55 of them pit bulls, were seized April 25 when police conducting a drug investigation raided the house, which Vick owned but said he rarely visited.

Police also found items associated with dog fighting, including treadmills, syringes and a "pry bar" used to pry apart a dog's jaws, as well as a bloodstained carpet. Prosecutor Gerald Poindexter said they also found blood on a floor in the home.

Several of the dogs had old scars that could be associated with dogfighting injuries, but authorities have said the dogs largely appeared to be healthy.

No charges have been filed, and the authorities involved met for nearly two hours May 21 to go over their evidence, but said only that the investigation is continuing.

Officials with knowledge of the whereabouts of the animals seized would be unlikely to share it, Goodwin said, because fighting dogs often are stolen from shelters.

Poindexter did not return a phone message left at his office.

Vick has since put the house up for sale and agreed to a sale price with a buyer on the first day, but it is unclear if the sale has been finalized.

Vick, a native of Newport News who starred at Virginia Tech, is a registered dog breeder. He said he let a cousin, Davon Boddie, live at the house, and that he didn't know a large kennel on the property could be involved in criminal activity.

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