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Prosecutor lacks solid evidence to charge Vick

5/24/2007 - NFL Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons + more

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- The prosecutor investigating whether
property owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was part
of a dog fighting operation said Wednesday he still doesn't have
solid evidence linking Vick to dog fighting.

"I know everybody is saying, 'When are those fools in Surry
County going to get up off their butts and do something?"'
Poindexter told The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk on Wednesday. "But
what are we going to do?"

Poindexter said there are no eyewitnesses who say they saw dog
fighting at the home where 66 dogs were seized along with equipment
that could be associated with dog fighting. The discoveries were
made during a drug raid at the home on April 25.

The dogs are being held in kennels in four counties, the
newspaper reported, and Poindexter said they will be held until the
investigation has been completed.

What happens to them after that isn't up to Poindexter, he said.

Historically, dogs seized and found to have been part of a dog
fighting operation are euthanized because their level of aggression
makes them unfit pets and neighbors, according to John Goodwin, a
spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States.

"It's simply not fair to someone who has a black lab or a
Yorkie to have a fighting dog next door, because if that dog gets
loose, he's going to ... kill that person's pet," Goodwin said,
making it clear he was speaking in generic terms only.

He did not have specific information about the dogs taken from
Vick's home.

Poindexter, who did not return a phone message left by The
Associated Press at his office Wednesday, said he is proceeding
very carefully with this case. He had another dog fighting case a
few years back and lost it because of an illegal search.

Police also found items associated with dog fighting, including
treadmills and a "pry bar" used to pry apart a dog's jaws.
Poindexter has said they also found a bloodied carpet and blood
splatters on the floor in a room over the garage.

Vick agreed to a sale price with a buyer on the first day he put
the house up for sale, but it is unclear if the sale has been
finalized.

Vick, a native of Newport News who starred at Virginia Tech, is
a registered dog breeder. He said he let a cousin, Davon Boddie,
live at the house, and that he didn't know a large kennel on the
property could be involved in criminal activity.