ASPCA Issues Statement on Federal Indictment of Michael Vick

July 18, 2007

NEW YORK, July 18, 2007 — The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today responded to news reports on the federal indictment of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

Said President & CEO Ed Sayres, “It is gratifying to see federal authorities taking an active role in investigating dog fighting, which is a felony offense in 48 states, and something that we in the animal welfare world take extremely seriously indeed. Federal charges in dog fighting are extremely rare, and we applaud the authorities for giving this crime the attention it deserves.”

He continued, “Dog fighting is probably the worst violation of the human-animal bond; a bond that is known to have lasting and beneficial effects on animals, people and society as a whole. It is unacceptable at any level, especially in a society that claims to have humane attitudes towards animals.”

Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president, Anti-Cruelty Initiatives & Legislative Services, agreed, but added a note of caution. “The violent actions described in the indictment are extremely disturbing, but it is important for the criminal justice system to be allowed to take its course. Hopefully, the evidence gathered in this case will tell the true story of what happened to the animals that suffered and died.”

The oldest animal welfare organization in the country, the ASPCA routinely provides training, guidance and hands-on assistance to law enforcement, animal shelters, elected officials, educational institutions and private industry on all facets of companion animal welfare including the current state of the law across the country, humane standards of companion animal care, understanding companion animal behavior, learning to be a good pet owner, and fostering the human-animal bond.

“Our mission remains as vital today as it was 141 years ago—to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals,” said Sayres. “We will do everything we can in our power to bring our society closer to the day where no animal lives in pain or fear—the hallmark of a true humane community.”