WASHINGTON, D.C. ─ Best Friends Animal Society today received a 2009 Asset Forfeiture National Award for its “outstanding work with the dogs on the Bad Newz Kennels case (the Michael Vick case).”
This award to Best Friends is in conjunction with 2009 National Leadership Conference for the U.S. Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) and the Asset Forfeiture Program. The conference focused on the essential role the OCDETF and Asset Forfeiture Programs play in disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises, depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity, deterring crime, and restoring property to victims of crime.
For the last 19 months, Best Friends has been in the national spotlight for its care of nearly half the animals seized from Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation. Considered the most challenging cases, these dogs would have been destroyed if Best Friends had not accepted them at their 3,700-acre sanctuary in southern Utah. During that time, the dogs have made steady progress, with one dog being recently adopted and another in foster care, the first step toward adoption.
Best Friends launched "Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dogs" a campaign to save the pit bull breed’s reputation, which in recent years has been sullied by dogfighting. Best Friends work with the Vick dogs has been chronicled on the National Geographic Channel series, ”DogTown.” Co-managers of DogTown, Michelle Beshmehn and John Garcia, who are featured on the show, accepted the award on behalf of Best Friends.