Posted Aug. 30, 2007 – Federal authorities have asked animal-behavior experts to evaluate about 50 pit bulls that were seized from Michael Vick's property in southeast Virginia in April.
Authorities say they want to determine whether the fighting dogs are adoptable or if they should be euthanized. The team that examines the dogs will be led by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Authorities expect the evaluations to take about three weeks, The Associated Press reports.
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Federal officials say they will give "careful consideration" to the matter. But animal-welfare groups have said that pit bulls bred and trained to fight usually should be put to sleep because they pose a danger to people and other animals.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons have formally requested at least $20 million of the $37 million Vick earned in bonus money.
Atlanta sent a letter to the former quarterback, who faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to funding a Virginia dog-fighting operation.
Experts say the team may only get back as little as $3.5 million, likely depending on an arbitrator’s decision.
Vick pleaded guilty to a federal dog-fighting charge on Monday. His lawyers are reportedly hoping to have his sentencing date moved up from Dec. 10. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has not yet met with the player to discuss his punishment by the league.
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