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Prosecutor says dog fighting investigation at Vick's property 'moving forward'

5/25/2007 - NFL Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons + more

RICHMOND, Va. -- The prosecutor in the investigation of a
possible dog fighting operation at a house owned by Atlanta Falcons
quarterback Michael Vick is confident charges will be brought. He
can't yet say who will be charged.

"We are moving forward," Surry County Commonwealth attorney
Gerald Poindexter said in a telephone interview with The Associated
Press on Friday. He declined to set a timetable for when evidence
in the case would be ready to present to a grand jury.

Police raided the home as part of a drug investigation on April
25. They seized 66 dogs, 55 of them pit bulls, and equipment that
could be associated with dog fighting.

The investigation is focused on dog fighting because while some
equipment seized could be typical of a legitimate breeding
operation, which Vick is registered to have, there also was a "pry
bar" used to pry apart a dog's jaws, and bloodstained carpeting.

The bloodied carpet was seized during the raid, and Poindexter
said he saw what appeared to be blood spatters on the floor of a
room inside the home above the garage.

"The floor was not drenched in blood, but there were specks
that appeared to me to be blood," he said.

Since the raid, Poindexter said, erroneous reports have surfaced
that the dogs were malnourished and that many had scarring and
injuries consistent with dog fighting. The dogs, he said, appeared
largely to have been well cared for, and the only one that required
immediate veterinary care had a broken leg because of a birth
defect.

He said there has been difficulty finding someone who
specializes in canine forensics, and an absence of eyewitnesses who
can confirm that dog fighting took place on the property.

Poindexter said there were numerous people with intimate
knowledge of the home or the dogs.

Vick has contended all along he rarely visited the home, where
his cousin, Davon Boddie, lived, and he put the home up for sale
shortly after the investigation was started. He agreed to a sale
price with a buyer on the first day.

A native of Newport News who starred at Virginia Tech, Vick has
blamed family members for taking advantage of his generosity. He
said he didn't know a large kennel on the property could be
involved in criminal activity.

Earlier Friday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent
a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell offering to conduct a
free humane education course -- or "animal sensitivity training" --
for NFL players and staff members.

The NFL's offices were closed Friday for the holiday weekend,
but spokesman Greg Aiello said "We are taking this issue very
seriously and monitoring the Michael Vick investigation."