February 19, 2009 -- The court-ordered destruction Monday of 145 dogs, including about 75 puppies, which were seized from a fighting dog breeding operation in December, was based on the faulty assumption that all dogs seized in dog-fighting related busts should arbitrarily be deemed dangerous and euthanized.
“We are disheartened and shocked that HSUS, a leader in the animal welfare community, would testify in court for the automatic destruction of puppies and dogs, who had not been given the opportunity to be evaluated as individuals, based on this policy. The Michael Vick dogs have proven how antiquated this approach is,” said Ledy VanKavage, an attorney with Best Friends Animal Society.
In 2006 HSUS advocated that all of the dogs from the Michael Vick dog fighting case be put down for the same reasons they used when recommending the killing of the Wilkes County pit bulls. In that case a federal court appointed a Special Master to oversee the evaluation of Vick’s dogs, all of which were adults. Many of the Vick dogs are now in adoptive homes, and at least two of the so-called “aggressive fighting dogs” are therapy dogs that visit hospitals to cheer up ailing patients.
If Vick was willing to use his name and speak against this, admitting that a lot of what they do makes these dogs aggressive and 1) dog fighting numbers went down and 2) they didn't waste all that life when they close down an operation, I would forgive him.