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Motion suggests guardian to oversee dogs seized from Vick home
By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM | Associated Press Writer
October 15, 2007
RICHMOND, Va. – Federal authorities on Monday filed a motion asking that a Valparasio law professor oversee the outcome of dozens of dogs seized from Alanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s rural home where a dogfighting operation was based.
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.