|Motion suggests guardian to oversee dogs seized from Vick home|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 15 October 2007 14:32|
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Richmond also asked that each of the 48 pit bulls be spayed, neutered and have microchips implanted, according to the motion filed in U.S. District Court.
The motion, which now goes to U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, requests that animal law expert Rebecca J. Huss serve as the guardian-special master to oversee the disposition and possible placement of the dogs.
If appointed, Huss would travel to Virginia to evaluate the animals and make recommendations on their placement or future, said Tom Shaer, a spokesman for Valparasio University School of Law in Indiana. There is no deadline for the process.
The court then would be responsible for carrying out Huss' recommendations.
Huss will not comment until her work is complete, Shaer said. But, he said, ``her goal is, and the court's goal is, to find the best possible future for the dogs and the humans and other animals with which those dogs would come in contact.''
Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered that one of 49 pit bulls seized be euthanized after the dog displayed too much aggression to allow animal behavior experts to examine it. The order said experts determined the other 48 dogs have placement potential.
The motion filed Monday acknowledged that the government has ``not ruled out the possibility'' that additional dogs may be euthanized after further evaluations are completed, but said other placement options are preferred.
``Nothing can be ruled out,'' Shaer said.
The animals were among more than 60 dogs seized by local authorities during a raid of the property in April. They have been held in animal shelters in the area since.
Vick and three co-defendants pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting charge and are to be sentenced before the end of the year. They each face up to five years in prison.
All four still face state charges in Surry County, where the dogfighting enterprise known as Bad Newz Kennels operated since 2001 on 15 acres of land Vick owned.
Vick has been charged with two state felony counts - beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs and engaging in or promoting dogfighting. Each felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.