Animal activists want Vick suspended

By Dorie
Turner, Associated Press

Animal-rights
advocates and their dogs gathered Monday outside Atlanta Falcons headquarters,
calling for the suspension of Michael Vick following his indictment on
dogfighting charges.

About four
dozen people took part in the protest organized by People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals. They held signs reading “Kick Vick,”
“Tackle Cruelty” and “Sack Vick!”

“Just
because he’s famous, he shouldn’t get off the hook,” said Emory Lewman,
12, of
Sandy Springs, who came with three of
her friends. “What he did was terrible.”

Among the
grisly findings in the federal indictment handed down last week in

Richmond: Losing dogs
either died in the pit or were electrocuted, drowned, hanged or shot.

“He
has made a bad name for himself and he’s hurting the team,” said Fran
Takacs of Norcross. “I used to be an NFL fan, now I’m not.”

The
protesters plan to demonstrate for a few hours each day until training camp
begins Thursday.

“The
Falcons can get rid of us right away if they suspend Michael Vick. And we hope
they choose to do that,” said Dan Shannon, assistant director of campaigns
for PETA.

The
organization mustered about 50 for a protest Friday in

New York at NFL headquarters and the
campaign to urge the NFL to suspend Vick is the centerpiece of PETA’s Web site.

Falcons
spokesman Reggie Roberts said the team will have no comment about the protests.

Vick is
scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. The NFL has said it would monitor legal
developments in the case. Vick and three associates face multiple charges
outlined in an 18-page indictment.

The four
are accused of competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for
fighting, and conducting the enterprise across state lines.

The
operation was named “Bad Newz Kennels,” according to the indictment,
and the dogs were housed, trained and fought at a property owned by Vick in

Surry County,
Va.

Conviction
carries up to six years in prison, fines of $350,000 and restitution.