Vick's pit bulls look for homes in Oakland

January 25, 2008 4:09:39 PM PST
Some of quarterback Michael Vick's victims will be available to meet the press Friday after months of rehabilitation, officials announced today.

Five of 49 American Pit Bull Terriers confiscated from Vick's Virginia-based dogfighting ring - an operation for which he was indicted in July - will meet and greet media at the Oakland Animal Services headquarters, according to Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit bulls, a group more commonly known as BAD RAP.

The dogs are currently being nursed back to health in foster care, according to Bad Rap representatives. The Vick case is significant, Bad Rap believes, because animals involved in similar cases are typically saved as evidence until the trial ends and are then exterminated.

In the Vick case, all dogs confiscated were evaluated and 48 were determined to be safe for living with people, Bad Rap reported. Bad Rap took in 10 dogs and placed them in area foster homes for care, training and adoption.

"These dogs serve as examples of how pit bulls are often victimized and how they deserve the same consideration as other breeds: a chance to be treated humanely, comforted, and viewed as individuals," Bad Rap director Donna Reynolds said.

Friday's news conference will be the dogs' first introduction to the public, according to organizers. Oakland Raider Jarrod Cooper will be there to discuss his dedication to helping dogs and the importance of the Vick case, as will Oakland Animal Services Director Adam Parascandola.

Cooper and Parascandola, along with Bad Rap, will also use the conference to introduce Code 597, a community education program that will address animal abuse in Oakland.

"Abuse and neglect of animals is an everyday occurrence here in Oakland. Code 597 is an exciting and innovative partnership that will allow (Oakland Animal Services) to more effectively prevent animal cruelty through education and by providing assistance to Oakland citizens to help them be more responsible and humane guardians of their animals," Parascandola said in a prepared statement.

The five pit bulls and presenters at the news conference will be available Friday at 11 a.m. at the Oakland Animal Services building, located at 1101 29th Ave. in Oakland, according to organizers.