(Vocus) December 8, 2007
WHO/WHAT: On Monday, December 10, Michael Vick is scheduled to appear in a U.S. District Court for sentencing on federal charges of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities (“Travel Act”), and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
As the nation’s attention swings back to animal cruelty with the upcoming sentencing hearing, ASPCA animal cruelty experts will be available for media interviews.
ASPCA Senior Vice President of Anti-Cruelty Initiatives and Legislative Services, Dr. Randall Lockwood has worked with humane societies and law-enforcement agencies for 25 years, serving as an expert on the interactions between people and animals. He has testified in numerous trials involving cruelty to animals or the treatment of animals in the context of other crimes, including dog fighting, child abuse, domestic violence and homicide—such as 2006’s high profile Atlanta “puppy torture” case.
Supervisory Special Investigator for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) department, Annemarie Lucas, has been with the ASPCA for 12 years. She stars on the top-rated, award-winning, reality series, “Animal Precinct,” which is now in its sixth season, and was named Animal Planet’s Chief Humane Officer in 2005. Officer Lucas has received training from both the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and is a state certified instructor in law enforcement.
The ASPCA also has several other subject matter experts in New York City and around the country who can speak to the media on request, including President & CEO Ed Sayres.
WHEN: Dr. Lockwood and Officer Lucas will both be present in Richmond, Va., to attend Michael Vick’s sentencing hearing on Monday, December 10, and available for on-site interviews before and after.
WHERE: In-person: at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia 100 E. Main Street, Richmond, Va. (Please note that Dr. Lockwood and Officer Lucas are also available outside of this timeframe to speak with the media via telephone/satellite.)
HOW: To reach Dr. Lockwood, Officer Lucas or another ASPCA expert, please contact Inga Fairclough at ingaf @ aspca.org/(212) 876-7700 ext. 4564 or (347-578-2243 (cell) and Amy Geduldig at amyg @ aspca.org/(212) 876-7700 ext. 4567 or (347) 768-4284 (cell).
MORE: The oldest humane organization in the Americas, the ASPCA is proud to have assisted Federal authorities with this investigation from its early stages, when Dr. Melinda Merck, forensic veterinarian with the ASPCA, assisted in excavating the graves on Vick’s property, and examining the remains found there. Later, the ASPCA led a team of animal behavior experts in evaluating the seized dogs, and provided recommendations on their disposition to the authorities.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501 [c]  not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York’s animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series “Animal Precinct” on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit http://www.aspca.org.