Sunday, July 29, 2007

As Details of the Cruelty Michael Vick Inflicted on Dogs Comes Forth, the Public Learns More about the Horrible Reality of Dog Fighting

Let’s just sum it up in one quote:

“In the indictment against Vick, he and his Bad Newz Kennels associates are accused of killing dogs that did not perform well by hanging, drowning and electrocution. At least one dog was killed when it was slammed to the ground.”

This is why Vick was indicted. If all is true, he is one sick person.

Article:

Michael Vick case resonating with the American public

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/
news/cityregion/s_519554.html

By Chris Togneri
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, July 29, 2007

The celebrity aspect, gruesome details and a public awakening to a vast bloodbath.

Such factors begin to explain Americans' horrified reaction to allegations that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick raised dozens of dogs to battle other dogs to the death and murdered those who proved too docile to fight.

Though the illegal "sport" long has been part of the American landscape -- it was first outlawed in the 19th century and today is a felony in all but Idaho and Montana -- the Vick story has elicited a particularly emotional response throughout the country and beyond.

An Internet search Friday for "Michael Vick" and "dogfighting" netted 1.72 million hits -- with headlines from U.S. and foreign newspapers and media outlets such as ESPN, CNN and Sports Illustrated. It was a topic on many radio talk shows.


Hundreds of protesters jeered Vick on Thursday outside the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., where he pleaded not guilty. Others demonstrated in front of the Falcons' training facility in Georgia, NFL offices in New York and at other spots.

Sociologists and animal rights advocates say several aspects of the Vick case have contributed to the public's response.

Dan Santoro, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh's Johnstown campus, said nearly everyone in America is in somehow affected by the allegations, including sports fans, animal lovers and people fascinated by celebrity trials.

"It's another scandal involving an athlete, and a lot of people feel celebrities are over-privileged and spoiled and have a sense of entitlement," said Santoro. "And then throw doing something bad to dogs into the mix -- Americans love dogs."

Because of Vick's star power -- he is the cornerstone of the Falcons franchise and one of the most athletic and explosive players in NFL history -- the story will continue to grab headlines, and might even change societal values, Santoro said.

"What happens in sports has an effect on society," Santoro said. "We changed our understanding of race relations in America when Jackie Robinson broke in to the Major Leagues. People got interested in steroids even though maybe they had never heard of them until (former football player) Lyle Alzado died.

"One way to look at it is that a lot of big issues we're still fighting culturally show up in sports," Santoro said. "It's almost like a battleground when issues get played out. ... This is going to be hot for a while."

Race issues could be at play, Santoro said. Some people question whether Vick is being targeted because he is black.

"It touches everyone," he said. "It's pulling in different groups, different segments of society who aren't necessarily sports fans, not necessarily football fans."

The grisly details from the 18-page indictment against Vick and three other men contribute to the furor.

Eric Sakach, director of Western Operations for the Humane Society, spent 20 years investigating and infiltrating illegal dog- and cockfights. He said the average American knew dogfighting exists, but could not imagine its brutality -- until it grabbed headlines.

"When you hear about dogfighting, most people associate it with something they may have seen, like two dogs mixing it up in their neighborhood," Sakach said. "They don't have an idea of how brutal and how protracted these fights are. Some are hours long."

In the indictment against Vick, he and his Bad Newz Kennels associates are accused of killing dogs that did not perform well by hanging, drowning and electrocution. At least one dog was killed when it was slammed to the ground.

"Many people weren't aware those things were going on to the degree they are," Sakach said. "I've seen dogs with literally part of their faces torn off, broken jaws, broken legs. ... It's a pretty pathetic commentary on what passes for entertainment."

The Vick case has in some ways put a face on the activity, Sakach said.

"This is arousing public interest," he said. "When was the last time we saw ESPN or Sports Illustrated or other sports writers take an interest in this and help to expose it? It's clearly something the pubic is finding absolutely horrifying, and they want it stopped."

There are about 40,000 serious dogfighters -- people who breed dogs for fighting purposes and wager tens of thousands of dollars on fights -- in the United States, Sakach said. There are countless more "street level" dogfighters, he said.

Kathy Hecker, a humane investigations officer for Ohio Township-based Animal Friends, said dogfighting occurs everywhere in the country, including western Pennsylvania.

The Vick case, she said, might help those fighting to kill the brutal sport.

"In a perverted sort of way, it's good news for animal lovers," Hecker said. "This is a very covert undercover 'sport,' and he's very nationally known, so people are paying attention."

In Defense of Animals Threatens to Sue California City if Elephants go to Six Flags through Sale of Discovery Kingdom

Sad that we need to discuss living beings as part of a sale, but that’s the way it is.

Article:

Animal rights group wants elephants to go to sanctuary

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_6488556

By J.M. BROWN/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 07/28/2007 08:58:15 AM PDT

A day before the city's sale of Discovery Kingdom to Six Flags, animal rights advocates will try to convince city officials not to sell four elephants they allege have suffered inhumane treatment at the theme park.

Because terms of the sale agreement were inked years ago, City Manager Joe Tanner said he is "skeptical" he can remove the elephants from the deal, which is set to be finalized Tuesday. But, on Monday, "we plan to listen to what they have to say, and if our attorney agrees, maybe we'll do something," Tanner said.

In Defense of Animals has threatened to file a federal lawsuit against the city, accusing it of violating the Endangered Species Act by allowing the alleged mistreatment of two Asian elephants. IDA has demanded the elephants - along with two African elephants also living at the park - be transferred to a sanctuary.

Six Flags will oppose taking the elephants out of the sale agreement, but the company's legal officials are still reviewing its options, spokeswoman Nancy Chan said. Park officials have long claimed the elephants are well taken care of and actually benefit from captivity through conservation of the species.

But IDA claims that recently obtained medical records show the pachyderms have
numerous health problems associated with confinement and could die if subjected to breeding programs that have caused previous elephant deaths at the park. IDA also said the animals suffer when performing entertainment tasks, such as riding and tug of war.

Chan said IDA has misinterpreted the medical reports with its own "spin."

"It basically comes down to, unfortunately, their word against ours," Chan said. "We are the ones that care for the elephants and we know exactly what is going on."

Suzanne Roy, program director for IDA, said the purchase agreement has several loopholes that could allow the city to retain the elephants before the sale is final, then send the animals to a rehabilitation facility.

Roy said lawyers working with IDA say the city could remove the elephants from the deal as a potential claim against the sale or could argue that the "city's property interest in the elephants has been called into question and the city cannot deliver clear title to the elephants until the issue is resolved."

In June, Six Flags announced it would exercise its option to buy the city's $55 million interest in the 135-acre park, which has been operated through a joint revenue sharing agreement since it moved from Redwood City in the mid 1980s. Vallejo will still receive a fee for hosting the park formerly known as Marine World.

Although IDA has long argued that using elephants for entertainment purposes is inhumane, Roy said the timing of the sale - plus medical evidence only recently made available through public records requests - made now the time to act.

The IDA claims that the alleged mistreatment of the animals constitutes an "illegal take" of an endangered species.

"We hope that we wouldn't have to resort to litigation," Roy said. "We will present the city with enough compelling evidence that (a sanctuary) will be a much better situation for the elephants, and the city has responsibility to do right by them."

IDA has found a sympathetic ear in Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes, who visited the elephants last weekend in response to recent concerns from citizens about their treatment.

While she said she felt the elephants were well fed and taken care of, Gomes said she did not believe "elephants belong in small enclosures with roller coasters all around them and children sitting on their backs, playing tug of war was an appropriate use."

But, Gomes said, "the sale has already been concluded, so it doesn't matter what I think. Our hands have been tied."

IDA was successful at encouraging zoos in San Francisco and Los Angeles to move elephants to sanctuaries without invoking the Endangered Species Act, Roy said. "We're hoping (Vallejo) will realize its responsibility to these elephants," she added.

IDA has to wait 60 days from the date of its July 25 letter to the city before filing legal action using the Endangered Species Act. The law can only be used to seize the Asian elephants at Discovery Kingdom - Liz and Taj - because its African elephants - Malaika and Tava - are listed as a "threatened species."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Adidas Uses Kangaroo Skin for Soccer Shoes: As a Result, California Decides that Adidas Cannot Sell Soccer Shoes Made from Slaughtered Kangaroos

Incredible action that hopefully will lead to a national ban. Sick that Adidas uses the skin of slaughtered kangaroos.

Article:

State Supreme Court nixes sales of shoes made with kangaroo hide

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/
2007/07/23/BAGV2R5B795.DTL&tsp=1

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, July 23, 2007

(07-23) 11:56 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Sportswear giant Adidas cannot sell popular soccer shoes fashioned from kangaroo hide in California despite the company's contention that federal law preempts a state ban on products made from the marsupials, the Supreme Court of California ruled today in a unanimous decision.

The ruling could have a major impact on the state's soccer retailers and players. Australian kangaroo skin, beloved by many players for its softness, has long been used in a variety of higher-priced shoes made by a number of brands -- including Adidas' famous Copa Mundial cleats.

The justices ruled in favor of an animal-rights group, Viva International Voice for Animals, a British nonprofit with its U.S. office in Davis. The group challenged Adidas in 2003, arguing that the California ban was valid because states have the power to enact stronger protections for wildlife than the federal government.

The state prohibited the import and commercial sale of kangaroo products in 1971, a year after banning products made from 23 other animals.

But a San Francisco Superior Court judge and the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco said the law conflicted with federal policy that resumed imports of kangaroo-skin products after Australia implemented a conservation program. The Supreme Court today reversed the appellate decision.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banned imports of products made from three kangaroo species in 1974 after their population had dwindled in Australia. The agency allowed those imports to resume in 1995. Adidas now sells athletic shoes in California made from the hides of the red kangaroo, the eastern grey kangaroo and the western grey kangaroo.

Animal rights groups remain in a tense battle with soccer teams and retailers over the controversial leather. The California Senate voted in May to legalize the import and sale of kangaroo skins unless a particular species is considered endangered. The bill is now in the Assembly.

The Supreme Court said today that the kangaroo case was analogous to another high-profile court battle pitting Napa vintners against the maker of popular Two Buck Chuck wines. The court in that case said wine bottles labeled with the "Napa" name must be filled primarily with the juice of Napa-grown grapes, as state law mandated. Federal rules had an exception for brands established before 1986.

The case is Viva International vs. Adidas, S140064. The opinion is available at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions.

New Website Launched Exposes Cruelty of Foie Gras

Shocking footage of what really goes on to create foie gras. The new site can be found at http://www.nofoiegras.com

Article:

Farm Sanctuary Launches New 'No Foie Gras' Website, Releases Shocking Video

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/
news_press_release,143980.shtml

Farm Animal Protection Organization Leads the Fight to End Sale and
Production of Foie Gras

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Farm Sanctuary,
the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, has launched a
new website with expanded and updated information on the production of the
cruelly produced delicacy known as "foie gras." The web address,
http://www.nofoiegras.com, will remain the same. Farm Sanctuary web
administrator Tim McGlynn, working in conjunction with Boston Web Design,
has created a site that is visually compelling, simple to navigate and
provides expanded information to meet the needs of activists, citizens,
educators, researchers and journalists.
"We are extremely pleased with the launch," said Farm Sanctuary
President Gene Baur, "and happy to be able to offer this comprehensive
information on such a critical issue. When people understand and actually
see how foie gras is produced they reject it as completely out of step with
a society that values compassion. This new site will go a long way in
bringing out the truth about the gratuitous violence involved in this
archaic and unacceptable practice."
Foie gras (translated from French as "fatty liver") is produced by
force- feeding ducks and geese two or three times each day through a pipe
shoved down their throats. The force-feeding can cause painful bruising,
lacerations, sores, and even organ rupture. Due to this unhealthy and
unnatural diet, the birds' livers become diseased and swell up to 10 times
their normal size, making it difficult for them to walk or even breathe.
Foie gras production is banned in more than a dozen countries; as well as
California and Chicago.
The launch of the site coincides with the release of a new video, Foie
Gras: Culinary Cruelty, a compelling and informative DVD revealing the
truth about the elitist "delicacy" available by direct order from the site.
Part of an ongoing campaign by Farm Sanctuary to end the production and
sale of foie gras, the 12-minute film features commentary by Wildlife
Pathologist Dr. Ward B. Stone, from the NY Department of Conservation, Dr.
Holly Cheever, DVM, and Farm Sanctuary President Gene Baur. Veterinarians
and other animal experts, along with religious leaders, businesses and
legal scholars, have called for an end to the production of foie gras for
reasons that will be manifestly clear to anyone who views the heart
wrenching footage captured in Culinary Cruelty.
"I urge everyone to see this sobering portrait of institutionalized
torture endured by ducks on the foie gras assembly line," said Farm
Sanctuary President Gene Baur. "People have a right to know how a product
gets to their plate, and once learning about the cruelties involved in
producing foie gras, members of the public have consistently cast their
votes for compassion."
Foie Gras: Culinary Cruelty can be ordered directly from Farm
Sanctuary's website. For more information about how you can help end foie
gras production, go to http://www.nofoiegras.com

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection
organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to
expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through
research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public
awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts.
Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif. provide
lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors
for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of
factory farming. Additional information can be found at
http://www.farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.

Another Disturbing Reality of Zoos: Many Sell Off Healthy Tigers and Other Endangered Species to Be Stuffed and Mounted As Trophies for Collectors

In essence:

“…zoos had recognized there was a market and were placing a “shelf life” on animals to cash in by having them stuffed before they got old, suffered illness and then cost them money. “What’s happening is that various zoos . . . [have] realized there’s a market, hence . . . there is a fixed price on tigers.”

Another reason to strongly appose zoos and the cruel reality that they represent. This is a sick as sick can be.

Just look at the facts. They are presented below.

Article:

Zoos kill healthy tigers for the skin trade

\http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/
europe/article2116179.ece

Daniel Foggo

ZOOS are killing healthy tigers and other endangered species and selling their skins to be stuffed and mounted as trophies for private collectors, an investigation has found.

The skins are sold by the zoos to taxidermists who prepare them for clients in defiance of attempts by the government to stifle the trade in tiger products.

Last week undercover reporters from The Sunday Times were offered the skins from two zoo tigers, which were both only a few years old when they died, for £6,000. “There are too many of them and if they are not put down they will die of old age, get incinerated and thrown away,” Andre Brandwood, a Hertford-shire taxidermist, told them.

He said zoos had recognised there was a market and were placing a “shelf life” on animals to cash in by having them stuffed before they got old, suffered illness and then cost them money. “What’s happening is that various zoos . . . [have] realised there’s a market, hence . . . there is a fixed price on tigers.”
Related Links

* ‘For a price I can get you any animal’

The taxidermists sell the stuffed tigers in Britain by exploiting a loophole in the European Union law controlling the trade in endangered animals.

Will Travers of the Born Free Foundation said: “It is abhorrent to imagine zoo animals, some of which may have been visitors’ favourites, are being killed to feed a demand for trinkets and decorative items.”

Craig Redmond of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society said zoos were overbreeding and creating a massive surplus of animals. “Nobody wants old animals. They think the public want to see babies,” he said.

Indictment of Michael Vick for Running Dog-Fighting Rings Brings Forth Calls to Get Tougher on Dog Fighting in Many States, Including New Jersey

If anything good comes from the evil of Michael Vick, it’s that states will wake up to the reality of dog fighting.

Article:


Van Drew: Vick Indictment Underscores Need for Overhaul of State's Animal Cruelty Laws

http://www.politicsnj.com/van-drew-vick-indictment-
underscores-need-overhaul-states-animal-cruelty-
laws-10462

By droseman - July 23, 2007 - 2:50pm
Tags: Jeff Van Drew, animal cruelty,
Release Date: July 23, 2007

Assembly Democrats News Release

VAN DREW: VICK INDICTMENT UNDERSCORES NEED
FOR OVERHAUL Of STATE'S ANIMAL CRUELTY LAWS

(First Legislative District) - The federal conspiracy case building against NFL star Michael Vick for his role in running a vicious dog-fighting ring highlights the need for New Jersey to modernize its ineffective and archaic animal cruelty laws, Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew said today.

According to the indictment handed-down last week against Vick and three other co-defendants, the dog-fighting ring allegedly operated by the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback was twice involved in fights with dogs from New Jersey.

"The allegations against Michael Vick are appalling in their own right, but to read that dogs from New Jersey were involved in this sordid conspiracy is absolutely alarming," Van Drew (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic). "The Vick case underscores the difficulties state are encountering with illegal dog-fighting and it underscores the need for tougher penalties against the depraved individuals who breed dogs for blood sport."

Van Drew recently introduced legislation (A-2649) - dubbed "Angel's Law" after a South Jersey dog that died after being starved and beaten by its owner - that would overhaul the state's animal cruelty laws for the first time in over 125 years. The measure would establish a series of new animal-cruelty offenses - including specific penalties against the use of an animal for fighting - and significantly increase criminal and civil penalties for violations.

Under Van Drew's bill, the most egregious abuse cases would draw penalties up to 20 years in jail and $200,000 in fines. Individuals involved in animal fighting also would face up to $7,500 in civil penalties for aggravated animal cruelty.

"The Michael Vick debacle is shining a stark light on the underground network of animal cruelty that many would like to think does not exist in New Jersey," said Van Drew. "We can no longer pretend dog-fighting doesn't happen in our state. Now is the time to take strong action to put these illegal fight rings out of business."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

West Hollywood Bans Declawing of Cats: Upheld by State Appeals Court

Excellent move and hopefully the first of many.

To learn more about why declawing cats is wrong, see: http://www.everycreaturecounts.org/declaw.htm

In essence, it is not a manicure. It is a serious surgery that literally removes the top bone in the toes. In fact, declawing equals mutilation. Really it is amputation.

Article:

Animal Rights’ Group Applauds Bans on Declawing of Cats

http://www.ebpublishing.com/*ws4d-db-query-Show.ws4d?
*ws4d-db-query-Show***DAE-CFA-298298302306299301-1434
***-Database***-***sltimes(directory)***.ws4d?sltimes/
column(R).html

By : Daphna Nachminovitch : 7/10/07


West Hollywood’s groundbreaking ban on declawing cats, which was just upheld by a state appeals court, is the first such ban in the U.S., although 21 other countries have already banned this painful and “unnecessary mutilation,” as the British Veterinary Association calls it.

There are many humane and effective ways to prevent cats from damaging furniture short of amputating their toes, such as trimming front claws twice a month, putting double-sided tape on furniture that Kitty tends to scratch, and providing plenty of inexpensive cardboard scratching posts, especially in the areas where cats sleep (cats commonly stretch and scratch when they wake up).

Monday, July 09, 2007

Moby Serves Dish of Truth: Calls out “Live Earth” for Serving Meat when Meat Production Accounts for More Greenhouse Gases than Driving Cars

Very good points. Please read on. Here is just one of many good quotes from the article below:

He writes: “The one thing that still stuns me… is that almost no one in the 'stop global warming' camp talks about the environmental ramifications of animal production. To quote a UN article: ‘rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars.’

Article:

Moby Hits Out At Live Earth For Serving Meat

http://www.gigwise.com/news.asp?contentid=34439

A major source of greenhouse gases..

* by Scott Colothan
* on 09/07/2007

Moby has hit out at organisers of the Live Earth concerts for selling meat at the shows.

Speaking through his blog, the vegan dance veteran quoted the UN statistic that livestock breeding and the gases the animals emit is a huge contributor to worldwide the greenhouse gases in the environment.

He writes: “The one thing that still stuns me… is that almost no one in the 'stop global warming' camp talks about the environmental ramifications of animal production. To quote a UN article: ‘rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars.’

”Livestock production is responsible for the release of more greenhouse gases than every car or SUV or pickup-truck on the planet.”

Clearly on a roll, he continues: “When the major news media report on global warming why do they rarely (if at all) discuss the role of livestock production in climate change?

”It's kind of like talking about the causes of the civil war and forgetting to mention slavery and abolitionism, or talking about someone with lung cancer and neglecting to mention that they smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day.

”Yesterday at the 'live earth' concerts people were eating hamburgers and hot dogs and chicken, which is akin to getting drunk at the funeral for someone who died of alcohol poisoning.

”It's just depressing that some huge truths about climate change are too inconvenient even for the well-intentioned left.”

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cruel Namibia at it Again: Begins Bloody Annual Seal Slaughter

Reminiscent of Cruel Canada’s baby seal slaughter. Unfortunately, Namibia also resorts to barbaric cruelty.

Article:

Activists launch protests against African seal cull

http://www.guelphmercury.com/NASApp/cs/
ContentServer?pagename=mercury/Layout/Article_
Type1&c=Article&cid=1183808759142&call_pageid=
1050067726078&col=1050421501457

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA (Jul 7, 2007)

Namibia's annual seal hunting season started this week amid a war of words with animal rights activists that echoes similar protests in Canada.

Namibia's government accused the activists of "deliberately distorting information," and said controlling the seal population was important for both the fishing industry and to the people who work in jobs created by the hunt.

The sparsely populated southern African country is famous for its wildlife and desert scenes along its Atlantic coastline, known as the Skeleton Coast. An estimated 850,000 seals live on a group of islands off its southern coast.

Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick Again At Center Of Dog Fighting Investigation: New Raid on House Brings Forth “Rape Stand” And Bloodied Carpet

These spoiled NFL guys just can’t stay out of trouble. If it isn’t beating up people it’s beating up or killing dogs. Let’s hope the law and the NFL holds Vick accountable for his illegal and cruel behavior.

As stated below:

“Fifty-four pit bulls were recovered from the property during searches in April, along with a "rape stand," used to hold dogs in place for mating; an electric treadmill modified for dogs; and a bloodied piece of carpeting, the documents said.”

Article:


Feds Detail Alleged Dogfighting Operation at Vick Property

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/
falcons/2007-07-06-vick-details_N.htm

July 7, 2007 - 11:39am
By HANK KURZ JR. and MICHAEL FELBERBAUM
Associated Press Writers

SURRY, Va. (AP) - A property owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was used as the "main staging area for housing and training the pit bulls involved" in an alleged dogfighting operation, according to court documents.

The papers, filed by federal authorities, give details for the first time about what authorities contend was a long-running dogfighting venture. Vick is not named in the documents.

On Friday, federal agents searched the property for a second time, using a backhoe to dig in an area about 10 feet wide by 20 feet wide. They finished their work at about 4:30 p.m. and declined to answer reporters' questions as they left.

The documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Richmond and obtained Friday by The Associated Press contain the address of the Vick property that has been at the center of the investigation.

According to the documents, dog fights have been sponsored by "Bad Newz Kennels" at the property since at least 2002. For the events, participants and dogs traveled from South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Texas and other states.

Members of the venture also knowingly transported, delivered and received dogs for animal fighting, the documents state.

Fifty-four pit bulls were recovered from the property during searches in April, along with a "rape stand," used to hold dogs in place for mating; an electric treadmill modified for dogs; and a bloodied piece of carpeting, the documents said.

The documents said the fights usually occurred late at night or in the early morning and would last several hours. The winning dog would win from "100's up to 1,000's of dollars," and participants and spectators also bet on the dogfights.

Before fights, the participating dogs of the same sex would be weighed and bathed, according to the filings. Opposing dogs would be washed to remove any poison or narcotic placed on the dog's coat that could affect the other dog's performance. Sometimes participants would not feed a dog before the fight to "make it more hungry for the other dog," the documents said.

Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method, according to the documents. The property has an aboveground swimming pool, and investigators were seen looking into the pool Friday.

During a June search of the property, investigators uncovered the graves of seven pit bulls that were killed by members of "Bad Newz Kennels" following sessions to test whether the dogs would be good fighters, the documents said.

Members of "Bad Newz Kennels" also sponsored and exhibited fights in other parts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and other states, the filings said.

On Vick's Web site, he lists his birthplace as Newport News, Va., "a.k.a. BadNews."

Friday, federal agents used shovels and heavy equipment to search the Vick property, where an informant told authorities as many as 30 dogs could be buried.

A backhoe-front loader was brought in and used to excavate a cleared area on the property. The material found to be of interest was transferred into numerous large, ice-filled coolers and loaded into a rental truck, which left the property.

Some of the investigators wore T-shirts reading: "Federal Agent USDA-OIG."

An Associated Press reporter and photographer viewing the investigation from a helicopter could not clearly identify the evidence being collected.

Investigators were digging in an area about 50 yards behind the large white house on the property. About 15 people could be seen on the property, which includes several kennels surrounded by pens made of metal fencing, other kennels and outbuildings.

Located in southeast Virginia, the expansive property has a metal gate at the entrance and a white plastic fence around the perimeter. The fence and a large two-story building painted black behind the home obscured the work of investigators.

More than 15 vehicles were on the property, including the rental truck and at least one Virginia State Police evidence collection truck.

Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, said state authorities were working with federal investigators in an "assistance capacity."

Vick has said he rarely visited the property. No charges have been filed.

During an April 25 raid at the property, about half the dogs were tethered to car axles with heavy chains that allowed them to get close to each other, but not to have contact, an arrangement typical for fighting dogs, according to an affidavit.

Later, Surry County officials secured a search warrant based on an informant's information about dogs being buried on the property, but never acted on it because prosecutor Gerald G. Poindexter said he had concerns with the wording of the document.

On June 7, the day that warrant expired, federal officials executed their own with the help of state police investigators.

Poindexter publicly questioned the federal government's interest in a dogfighting case. He suggested Vick's celebrity was the draw and raised race as a possible motivation. Poindexter and Vick are black, as is Sheriff Harold Brown.

Poindexter, on vacation in Louisiana, said by telephone he was unaware of Friday's search and was still pursuing what he called a parallel investigation. He said he assumed Surry County and federal officials eventually will share their evidence.

Vick initially said he had no idea the property might have been used in a criminal enterprise and blamed family members for taking advantage of his generosity. He also put the house up for sale and reportedly sold it quickly, although there is no record that the sale has closed. Vick has since declined to talk about the investigation.

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