player Vick allowed dogs to savage family pets: report
November 22, 2008
RICHMOND, Virginia — Jailed ex-National Football
League star Michael Vick allowed
his fighting dogs to savage family pets, a federal government
agency has said in a report.
Vick drowned dogs that did not perform well in a five-gallon pail
of water, according to a report released by US Department of Agriculture
The 17-page report also said Vick and his three partners, Quanis Phillips,
Purnell Peace and Tony Taylor, "thought it was funny" to
watch their trained pitbulls kill family pets and other dogs.
"They drowned approximately three dogs by putting the dogs' heads
in a five-gallon bucket of water."
Vick is back in the state of Virginia to answer state dogfighting
charges, and is being held in protective custody at a Richmond, Virginia
area jail until a hearing on Tuesday.
The former all-star quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons arrived on
Thursday from Kansas, where he is serving a two-year sentence for
a dogfighting conspiracy conviction.
Vick, who was once the highest paid player in the NFL, is scheduled
to be released in July 2009.
In Virginia facing state dogfighting charges, Vick's involvement revealed
By Kelly Naqi
November 22, 2008
Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael
Vick placed family pet dogs into a ring and his trained pit bulls
"caused major injuries" to the pets at Bad Newz Kennels,
according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released on Friday.
The 17-page report, prepared by the USDA's inspector general-investigations
division, provided some new details on Vick's participation in Bad
Newz Kennels, the dogfighting operation financed by Vick and formed
along with his friends Tony Taylor, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips.
Michael Vick is isolated at the Riverside Regional Jail in Virginia
to avoid disruptions.
The report, dated Aug. 28, 2008, says "Vick,
Peace and Phillips thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs
belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs."
The report has names and phrases redacted in order to protect the
anonymity of certain individuals who cooperated with investigators.The
report also states in mid-April of 2007, Vick,
Peace and Phillips hung approximately three dogs that did not perform
well in a "rolling session," which indicates the
readiness of a dog to fight. According to the report, the
three men hung the dogs "by placing a nylon cord over a 2 X 4
that was nailed to two trees located next to the big shed. They also
drowned approximately three dogs by putting the dogs' heads in a five
gallon bucket of water."
Vick initially told authorities "while he assisted Phillips and
Peace in the killing of the dogs, he did not actually kill the dogs"
but "helped Phillips toss several dogs to the side," according
to the report.
However, the report says Vick took back that statement when he failed
a polygraph test. "Vick failed the examination as it related
to the killing of the dogs in April 2007. Ultimately, Vick recanted
his previous statement wherein he said he was not actually involved
in the killing of six to eight dogs. ... Vick admitted taking part
in the actual hanging of the dogs." Vick, the report says, paid
someone whose name was redacted $100 to dig two graves for the dog
carcasses. "Based on past circumstances," the report says,
"Phillips and Peace did not like [Vick] to do any type of work
that could injure him and jeopardize his NFL contract." When
the person who dug the graves refused to bury the animals, the report
says, Vick, Peace and Phillips buried the dogs themselves.
Vick is serving a 23 month sentence in a minimum security federal
prison camp in Leavenworth, Kan., on a conspiracy charge relating
to the interstate dogfighting operation he helped run on a property
he owned in Surry County, Virginia. Vick is scheduled to be released
on July 20, 2009.
Vick is currently being held in protective custody at Riverside Regional
Jail in Hopewell, Va., until his hearing on Tuesday in Surry County
Circuit Court to plead guilty to two state charges related to dogfighting.
The state charges -- one count of torturing and killing dogs and one
count of promoting dogfighting -- each carry a maximum prison term
of five years. But under the terms of his plea agreement, Vick is
expected to receive a three-year suspended prison term and a $2,500
fine (which would be suspended if he pays court costs and maintains
good behavior for four years).
By resolving the pending state charges, Vick would qualify to participate
in the Federal Bureau of Prisons re-entry program, which could enable
him to serve part of the remainder of his federal sentence in a halfway
According to the Bureau of Prisons, in 2007, for inmates who qualified,
the average length of their time served at a halfway house was three
Vick, who was once the NFL's highest paid player, has been washing
pots and pans for 12 cents an hour, according to Falcons owner Arthur
Blank, who has said he's kept in touch with Vick through written correspondence.
Blank said Vick also told him he's passing the time and staying in
shape by playing quarterback for both sides during prison football
games. Vick, 28, is still under contract with the Falcons.
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Vick
indefinitely without pay on Aug. 24, 2007, and has said he will review
the status of Vick's suspension following the conclusion of Vick's
Vick's lawyers, the NFL and the Falcons were not immediately available