Lessons Learned: Acting as Guardian/Special Master in the Bad Newz Kennels Case

Animal Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2008

Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-06

22 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2009

See all articles by Rebecca J. Huss

Rebecca J. Huss

Valparaiso University Law School

Date Written: January 30, 2009


The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia appointed Rebecca Huss as the guardian/special master of the pit bulls that were the subject of the case against Michael Vick relating to dog fighting. In April of 2007, the Surry County Sheriff's Department seized fifty-three pit bulls from Vick's home in Virginia. 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 litigation. Huss was in charge of determining whether each dog should be euthanized due to its inability to interact safely with humans or other animals or given a second chance at life in a new home. Huss explains her role as guardian/special master and how she made her determinations about each dog's destiny.

Keywords: Michael Vick, animal law, animal rights, animal guardianship, dog fighting, animal abuse, pit bulls, animal welfare, veterinary medicine, animals in the media

Suggested Citation

Huss, Rebecca J., Lessons Learned: Acting as Guardian/Special Master in the Bad Newz Kennels Case (January 30, 2009). Animal Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1335362

Rebecca J. Huss (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University Law School ( email )

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