NEW YORK, August 28, 2007—With overwhelming public concern in the fate of the dogs seized from Michael Vick’s Surry County, Va., property, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today provided the following information on the upcoming evaluations of the dogs, as well as the nature of assistance it is providing to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).Press release here, and thanks to Donna of BAD RAP for the heads up. [ETA: Thanks, Christine!]
Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, CAAB, executive vice president, National Programs, and science advisor for the ASPCA, will be leading a team of several other certified applied animal behaviorists (trained animal behavior experts who have been certified by the Animal Behavior Society) in conducting behavior evaluations of the pit bulls seized during the course of the investigation.
As part of this process, BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls), a San Francisco-based non profit organization that is an educational resource for pit bull owners and the shelters that house them, will be working with the ASPCA-led team to help identify dogs that can be absorbed into experienced foster programs for further observation and possible re-homing into appropriate homes—one of several possible outcomes for these dogs.
“We greatly appreciate the trust placed in us by the USDA to ensure that these dogs are given every opportunity to have a second chance, and take this phase of the investigation very seriously,” said Ed Sayres, ASPCA president & CEO. “Fighting dogs obviously face a lot of challenges when considered for rehabilitation or placement but we will make sure they get the professional, thorough and detailed evaluations that they deserve.”
Said Donna Reynolds, BAD RAP executive director, “We’ve seen time and time again that by pooling resources, we can get more accomplished for animals. We’re honored to be a part of the ASPCA’s team effort and look forward to giving our best to the dogs. After all they’ve been through, they certainly deserve a fair trial.”
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