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Michael Vick

Busted for Illegal Dogfighting

7/17/2007 7:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0717_michael_vick_bn_getty-1It's dog days for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and others, after being indicted today on federal charges related to illegal dogfighting.

Vick was charged with illegal competitive dogfighting, which involves training pit bulls to fight against other dogs. When authorities searched Vick's property this month, they found 54 pit bulls and a host of brutal items including a "rape stand," used to hold dogs in place for mating; an electric treadmill modified for dogs and a bloodied piece of carpeting.

Graves of seven pit bulls were found inside "Bad Newz Kennels," a Virginia property owned by Vick. The dogs were allegedly killed after testing whether they would be good fighters. According to documents, dogfights would end when one dog died or backed down, and dogs were sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gunshot, electrocution or some other method.

The indictment alleges that Vick and his co-defendants began sponsoring dogfights in early 2001, the former Virginia Tech star's rookie year with the Falcons.

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