As Michael Vick Pleads Guilty to Federal Indictment, ASPCA Reveals Its Role in Federal Investigation

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ASPCA will continue to assist federal investigators in evaluations of seized dogs.

Michael Vick appeared today at a federal court in Richmond, Va., to file his plea agreement in the federal case pending since July.

The U. S. Attorney’s office revealed the assistance provided by the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) in its investigation: ASPCA Forensic Veterinarian, Dr. Melinda Merck, participated in the excavation of the graves and examination of the remains. Further details cannot be provided at this time.

Said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres, “While the details of what the deceased dogs went through are absolutely heartbreaking, we can take some comfort in the fact that our work has helped to renew the spotlight on animal cruelty in this country—and heightened the critical need to attack it at all levels of society. I am extremely proud of Dr. Merck’s and the ASPCA’s stellar contributions to this case.”

As announced last week, the ASPCA will continue to assist in this case by leading a team of animal behavior experts in evaluating the dogs seized from Vick’s property earlier this year. Based on these evaluations, recommendations will be made to the USDA and the U. S. Attorney’s office regarding the disposition of the dogs. Due to the sensitive nature of the evaluations, further details are not possible at this time.

For more information on the ASPCA, or to learn more about staying alert to animal cruelty, please visit

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 one million supporters. A 501 [c] [3] 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

Media Contacts:
Inga Fairclough
(212) 876-7700 x 4564

Shonali Burke
(212) 876-7700 x 4565


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