Lessons Learned: Acting as Guardian Ad Litem for the Michael Vick Dogs in the Bad Newz Kennels Dog Fighting Case


Location: Room 1130

Animal Law Expert and Valparaiso University Professor Rebecca Huss was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to serve as the guardian/special master of forty-eight pit bulls who were seized from Michael Vick’s home during the widely publicized “Bad Newz Kennels” dog fighting investigation. According to the facts set forth in the plea agreement, dogs on the property were killed and subjected to violent dog fights. Similar to human victims of abuse, the dogs needed someone to represent their best interests during the process. Huss was in charge of making a recommendation to the court as to whether each dog should be euthanized due to his or her inability to interact safely with humans or other animals or given a second chance at life with a rescue organization. Professor Huss will explain her role as guardian/special master and how she made her determinations about each dog’s destiny. This discussion highlights lawyers’ ability to use their expertise in furthering the welfare of animals while preserving evidence necessary to reach fair criminal convictions in animal-related crimes.
Sponsor : ACLU, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund