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Vick may dodge dog killing, gambling

If the latest being reported in the Michael Vick case is true, the quarterback's lawyers will have certainly earned their money.

There are reports that the summary of facts that are part of Vick's guilty plea next week will not include admissions that he personally killed animals or that he gambled on the dogfights. Either one of those admissions would certainly increase his chances that he'd face a a lengthy, perhaps lifetime, ban from the NFL once he's released from prison. This doesn't mean that Vick is out of the woods concerning either of those problems, though. Remember that the NFL has its own former federal prosecutor sleuthing the case, and he might come up with evidence that Vick's conduct went beyond the formal guilty plea and, as a result, the NFL could base its discipline on its own findings rather than what Vick concedes to in his plea.

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Meanwhile, the deadline imposed for anyone claiming ownership of the dogs seized at Vick's Surry County, Va., property passed yesterday. The federal government is trying to intercede here and have the dogs become the property of the United States. If that happened, it's possible they could then be moved to refuges and cared for indefinitely because they're not considered appropriate for adoption as pets.

One person who is trying to find out whether some of the more than 50 animals may belong to him is a Baltimore man, Robert Beno. Beno told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that some mixed breed puppies of his had been stolen, and he was concerned that they may be among the group of dogs tied to Vick.

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