SOURCE: Last Chance for Animals

August 28, 2007 07:00 ET

Last Chance for Animals Expresses Hope and Disappointment Over Vick Plea, Applauds NFL's Strong Stand

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - August 28, 2007) - Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a non-profit animal rights organization with 23 years experience opposing dogfighting, today cautiously applauded the NFL for its strong position in the Michael Vick case, suspending Vick indefinitely without pay. LCA also called on the State of Virginia to pursue its own prosecution of Vick as leverage to ensure Vick's cooperation with future dogfighting investigations.

LCA President and Founder Chris DeRose noted that the plea agreement and the accompanying statement of facts contain positive elements. He said: "Vick accepted that he ran a dogfighting ring. He also accepted at partial responsibility for the torture and murder of at least 8 dogs. This is certainly a victory for the prosecution and the animals."

DeRose was pleased, but also skeptical, that Vick agreed to assist the U.S. Attorney in dogfighting prosecutions. "Now is the time for Vick to put his money where his mouth is. He can cooperate and help bust dogfighting rings, in which case his actions might justify the lenient sentence he is being offered. Or he can reveal that his sympathies still lie with other felons, in which case he should lose his deal and be sentenced to the maximum five years."

LCA expressed disappointment that the plea deal includes no provision for community service. "Mr. Vick could have shown a sincere understanding of the cruelty of his actions by accepting LCA's proposal to incorporate a public education campaign into his plea deal. Instead, Vick's statement today revealed that he is only concerned with salvaging his future and career. His statement showed that he understands neither the heinousness of dogfighting nor the repulsion Americans feel towards animal cruelty."

DeRose also observed the one positive result of this case: "For the first time in my life, after trying to expose dogfighting for 23 years, America is waking up to this national disgrace and reacting appropriately. Americans are learning about the prevalence of dogfighting throughout our country, and are properly disgusted and outraged. That outrage must now be turned into action."

LCA is calling on its supporters to turn this awful situation into a positive one by taking the following actions:

--  Contact the NFL and other professional sports leagues and urge them to
    specifically include all forms of animal abuse in their personal conduct
--  Contact local media and prosecutors and demand that they expose and
    prosecute dogfighting at the local and state level.
--  Speak out against animal cruelty in their own neighborhoods, schools,
    and houses of worship. We are all responsible for stopping violence to
    animals in our own communities.

Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a national animal rights organization based in Los Angeles, has been active for more than two decades. Founded and led by animal expert, author, and actor, Chris DeRose, LCA fights for the rights of animals by conducting investigations that expose animal cruelty. For more information, visit

For more information and or to interview Chris DeRose, please contact Eileen Koch @ Eileen Koch & Company, 310.441.1000 or e-mail at Please visit

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