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Each defendant pled guilty to one felony count of dogfighting. Cruelty to animals charges were dropped. The judge a three-year suspended prison term and a $2,500 fine, which will also be suspended if they pay court costs of $380 and maintain good behavior for four years.

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Many of the dogs have been with children and other dogs. Some, like , continue to deal with fear issues, whereas others work as therapy dogs in or . Some will live out their lives at .

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Interview with Dr. Marc Brackett

by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia and charged with violating federal law 18 U.S.C. § 371 Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture. The “interstate commerce” requirement gives the federal court jurisdiction over an activity otherwise regulated by the state. Interstate commerce in the Vick case included transporting fighting dogs across state lines and hosting dogfight participants from other states at Bad Newz Kennels. The charge is a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years prison. A charge under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) for would have carried only a maximum penalty of one year per violation.

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New Video Series From Dr. Daniel Goleman

After his three co-conspirators pled guilty and began cooperating with authorities, Vick also pled guilty, admitting to funding the dogfighting operation and the associated gambling operation. He admitted to knowing about four dogs that his co-conspirators killed in 2002, and he admitted to agreeing to the hanging and drowning of 6-8 dogs who underperformed in 2007. Vick admitted he provided most of the operation and gambling monies, but he claimed he did not gamble by placing side bets or receiving proceeds from the purses.

Interview with Dr. Daniel Goleman

Under the sentencing guidelines for this crime, most first time offenders would have received no jail time. However, Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, described the behavior of Vick, Peace and Phillips as “heinous, cruel and inhumane”, so he required that they accept a provision in the plea agreement that they “understated the severity of their conduct and that a sentence substantially above what would otherwise be called for by the guidelines would be appropriate.” Rosenberg recommended 12-18 months in prison rather than 0-6 months. Co-conspirator Tony Taylor was not included in this recommendation since he was the first to plead guilty and assist in the investigation. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for December 10, 2007.