Monday, January 25, 2010

Vick got "adrenaline rush" from killing dogs, documents say

by Patrick Terpstra, 13News

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 8 at 8:21 PM

NORFOLK -- After almost three years, federal investigators are releasing the bulk of their investigation into Michael Vick's dogfighting ring.

The nearly 1,000 pages of documents come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General and detail Vick's alleged killing of dogs and suggest others were involved who were never prosecuted.

The documents show that multiple informants told investigators that injured dogs would be cared for by Steven Gregory, an "amateur" veterinarian in Gates County, N.C., who would suture and staple wounded dogs.

Gregory died before the investigation was complete.

It also makes mention of another person reportedly involved in the Bad Newz Kennels ring.

An informant said the unidentified man also worked for Delta Airlines in Norfolk but was fired after the company discovered he reportedly was allowing Vick and two others to avoid security screening.

The documents also shed new light on Tony Taylor, the first member of Bad Newz Kennels to plead guilty and agree to work with prosecutors.

Taylor left the dogfighting ring in 2004, the same year he was kicked out of Vick's house after a falling out over a gold necklace valued at $10,000 to $15,000

The dogfighting ring operated from 2001 to 2007, but an informant told federal investigators he reported Vick and two others to Virginia Beach Police and Virginia State Police in 2004 or 2005, but said he did not know why police did not investigate.

Details emerge in the documents about exactly how Vick reportedly killed dogs.

Informants told investigators that Vick and two others strangled low performing dogs by hanging them from trees, drowning them in buckets of water -- one person holding the hind legs, another person holding the dog's head.

They said Vick and two others also killed dogs with a shovel, shot them and in at least one case slammed a dog to the ground until it was dead.

Vick and co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips "seemed to get an adrenaline high when killing the dogs," an informant said.

The documents say all the murdered dogs were buried on Vick's property in Surry County, which he has since sold.

Investigators said Vick buried some of the dogs himself.

At one point investigators asked Vick whether he used steroids or human growth hormone.

An informant told investigators Vick was overheard at a 2006 Atlanta Falcons Christmas party saying he "liked his product."

Vick told investigators the conversation never happened and that he never used steroids or any type of human growth hormone.

Three years later, Vick plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, works with the Humane Society and speaks to children about the perils of dogfighting.

"I did all the right things," Vick said at a September event in Philadelphia. "Did a great job in school, listened to my mom because she taught me right from wrong. But when I walked out that door I had another side to me and it was a dark side."